TOKYO: On February 24, exactly one year since Russia attacked Ukraine, the G7 leaders held a video conference under the chairmanship of Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio and which included a statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kishida expressed his respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people and their strength in standing up for their own defense, noting that Russia continues its unjustifiable aggression and attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in violation of international law. He stressed that the G7 will maintain its strong determination to stop Russia’s aggression and uphold the international order based on the rule of law.
Kishida welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution calling for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, which was adopted on February 23 with the support of 141 countries. He said that the G7 will continue to support Ukraine under his chairmanship of the G7 this year.
Kishida stated that he would like to make the G7’s message clear by outlining additional sanctions regarding goods and technology that support Russia’s military and manufacturing sector. He announced that Japan has decided to impose the following new sanctions against Russia: (i) freezing assets of Russian individuals and organizations; (ii) adding entities to the export ban; (iii) expanding the export ban to items that contribute to the enhancement of Russian industrial capacities;and (iv) freezing assets of Russian financial institutions.
Kishida also stated the need to prevent third parties from providing military support to Russia, and that he hopes to work closely with relevant countries to address this issue.
Kishida confirmed the G7’s continued commitment to humanitarian assistance to help maintain Ukraine’s economic and financial stability. He announced that the G7 has increased its budget and economic support to Ukraine to $39 billion.
While pointing out the importance of support for Ukraine’s neighboring countries, Prime Minister Kishida added that Japan has decided to provide Moldova with a yen loan equivalent to $100 million.
Kishida stated that Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons is a serious menace to the peace and security of the international community and is absolutely unacceptable, and that the 77-year record of the non-use of nuclear weapons must not be broken by Russia. He said he would strongly emphasize this point at the next G7 Summit, which will be held in Hiroshima, the world’s first target of an atomic bomb.
Kishida emphasized the importance of engagement with and support for the so-called Global South, stating that it is essential for the G7 to make efforts in the food sector, including the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
As a result of the discussion, the G7 Leaders concurred that the G7’s solidarity will never waver in standing with Ukraine, in supporting countries and people in need, and in upholding the international order based on the rule of law.