Arab News Japan
The Group of Seven leading economic powers on Monday called on Russia to stop its “provocations” and “de-escalate tensions” following its troop build-up on the border with Ukraine.
The G7 foreign ministers issued their joint appeal on the eve of a NATO meeting in Brussels over concerns that the years-long conflict in eastern Ukraine could escalate sharply.
The ministers, most of whose countries also belong to NATO, “are deeply concerned by the large ongoing build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders and in illegally-annexed Crimea,” they said in a statement.
“These large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, represent threatening and destabilising activities,” the statement added.
“We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations.”
The G7, consisting of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and non-NATO Japan — also urged Russia to uphold international “principles and commitments that it has signed up to on transparency of military movements”.
In March, the G7 said it would not accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, in a statement marking seven years since the takeover.
They called on Russia to uphold the OSCE principles and commitments that it has signed up to on transparency of military movements and to respond to the procedure established under Chapter III of the Vienna Document.
The G7 ministers also reaffirmed their “unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.”
They also supported Ukraine’s “posture of restraint.”
Further, the G7 ministers underlined their strong appreciation and continued support for France’s and Germany’s efforts through the Normandy Process to secure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, “which is the only way forward for a lasting political solution to the conflict.”
“We call on all sides to engage constructively in the Trilateral Contact Group on the OSCE’s proposals to confirm and consolidate the ceasefire,” the statement said.