G-7 countries call on Kremlin to de-escalate, warn of costly sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine

Foreign ministers of the G7 countries called on Saturday Russia to de-escalate tensions on the border with Ukraine a warning about the “mass consequences” of sanctions in the event of “further military aggression.”

The group said they were still “seriously concerned RussiaThreatening congestion around Ukraine“, And said that, despite the Kremlin’s assurances,” see no evidence “of troop reductions.

«RussiaThe unprovoked and unjustified massiveness of the armed forces, the largest deployment on the European continent since the end of the Cold War, is a challenge to global security and international order, ”the foreign ministers said.

The group welcomed RussiaRussia’s readiness for diplomatic cooperation, but said they were ready to impose severe sanctions in the event of further military escalation of the Kremlin.

“While we are ready to seek diplomatic solutions to address legitimate security concerns, Russia there should be no doubt that any further military aggression is against Ukraine will have serious consequences, including financial and economic sanctions against a wide range of sectoral and individual goals, which will cause serious and unprecedented costs for the Russian economy, ”the group writes.

Tensions in Eastern Europe have reached a tipping point Russiabuilding up troops together Ukraineborder.

Russia gathered nearly 150,000 troops together Ukrainethe Russian border, which has caused fears among Western leaders that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to invade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied this Russia intends to invade the neighbors Ukraine and stated that he had begun to withdraw troops from the border.

But the United States says there was no evidence Russia intends to de-escalate and warned that the window for further diplomacy is narrowing.

President Biden said on Friday that he was “confident” that Mr Putin had decided to invade, and said an attack on Kiev could be imminent.

Western leaders warn that Moscow could use clashes Ukrainewar-torn regions near the Russian border as a basis for a full-scale invasion.

Ukrainian forces have been embroiled in nearly eight years of confrontation with pro-Russian separatists. Violence between the two groups has escalated in recent days amid the build-up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine.

The White House has pledged to avoid a direct confrontation between US and Russian troops, although President Biden has pledged to increase US support for NATO.

The White House also warned of severe sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion Ukraine.

Speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference earlier Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris voiced harsh warnings for the Kremlin.

“Let me be clear, I can say with absolute certainty: when Russia further bursts in UkraineThe United States, along with our allies and partners, will incur significant and unprecedented economic costs, ”Harris said.

In a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later Saturday, Ms Harris called the current confrontation “a turning point in our world history” and reiterated the Biden administration’s promise to impose “swift and tough economic sanctions” in the event of an invasion.

“We take any threat to your country seriously, and we have united our allies and our partners to speak with one voice,” Ms Harris said.

The statement by the foreign ministers echoed the solidarity of Western leaders with Ukraine.

“We reiterate our unwavering commitment to sovereignty and territorial integrity Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters, ”the group said. “We reaffirm the right of any sovereign state to determine its future and security mechanisms. We praise Ukrainea posture of restraint in the face of prolonged provocations and destabilizing efforts. “

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