Ken Bredemeier | VOA News |
G-7 Foreign and Development Ministers pose for a group photograph during the final day of the G-7 summit in Liverpool, northwest England, Dec. 12, 2021.
The Group of Seven democratic economic powers on Sunday warned Russia to de-escalate its large-scale military buildup along the Ukrainian border or face what it characterized as “massive” economic consequences.
The G-7 foreign ministers, meeting in Liverpool, England, along with the European Union foreign affairs chief, said in a joint statement they were “united in our condemnation of Russia’s military buildup and aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine.”
The diplomats, representing the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Japan, urged Moscow to “de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and abide by its international commitments on transparency of military activities.”
U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia, with 70,000 or more troops stationed on Ukraine’s eastern border, may be poised to attack its neighbor and one-time Soviet republic in early 2022, although Russian President Vladimir Putin is not believed to have made a decision to invade.
“Any use of force to change borders is strictly prohibited under international law. Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response,” the G-7 statement said, echoing warnings U.S. President Joe Biden made to Putin in a virtual summit last week.