The text of the following statement was released by the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union.
We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the European Union High Representative, remain deeply concerned about Russia’s threat of illegal military build-up around the annexed Ukraine Crimea and Belarus. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified concentration of military forces, the largest deployment on the European continent since the end of the Cold War, poses a challenge to global security and the international order.
We call on Russia to choose the path of diplomacy, de-escalate tensions, essentially withdraw forces from near Ukraine’s borders, and fully comply with international commitments, including on risk reduction and transparency of military activities. As a first step, we expect Russia to implement the announced reduction in its military activities along the Ukrainian borders. We have not seen evidence of this reduction. We will judge Russia by its actions.
We have noted Russia’s recent announcements that it is ready to engage diplomatically. We reaffirm our commitment to Russia to continue dialogue on issues of mutual interest such as European security, risk reduction, transparency, confidence building and arms control. We also reaffirm our determination to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the current crisis, and we call on Russia to accept the offer of dialogue within the Strategic Stability Dialogue between the US and Russia, the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE. We welcome the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue launched by the Polish OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office and express our strong hope that Russia will engage constructively.
Any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states violates the fundamental principles underlying the rules-based international order and the European peace and security order enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and other subsequent OSCE are explanations. While we stand ready to explore diplomatic solutions to address legitimate security concerns, Russia should have no doubt that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences, including financial and economic sanctions against a variety of sectoral and individual targets that would have serious consequences and unprecedented costs for the Russian economy. In the event of such an event, we will take coordinated restrictive action.
We reiterate our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and support for Ukraine’s efforts to strengthen its democracy and institutions, and encourage further progress on reforms. We consider it of the utmost importance to help maintain Ukraine’s economic and financial stability and the well-being of its people. Building on our assistance since 2014, we commit to working closely with the Ukrainian authorities to help strengthen Ukraine’s resilience.
We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters. We reaffirm the right of every sovereign state to determine its future and its security arrangements. We welcome Ukraine’s dovish stance in the face of ongoing provocations and destabilization efforts.
We underscore our strong appreciation and continued support for Germany and France’s efforts within the Normandy Process to ensure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which are the only way forward for a lasting political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We take note of President Zelenskyy’s public statements underscoring Ukraine’s firm commitment to the Minsk agreements and its willingness to contribute constructively to the process. Ukrainian offers deserve serious consideration by Russian negotiators and by the government of the Russian Federation. We urge Russia to seize the opportunity presented by Ukraine’s diplomatic path proposals.
Russia must de-escalate and fulfill its obligations in implementing the Minsk agreements. The increase in ceasefire violations along the line of contact in recent days is of great concern. We condemn the use of heavy weapons and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in clear violation of the Minsk accords. We also condemn the Russian Federation’s continued issue of Russian passports to residents of non-government controlled areas of Ukraine. This clearly contradicts the spirit of the Minsk agreements.
We are particularly concerned about the actions of the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics”, which must be seen as the basis for military escalation. We fear that staged incidents could serve as a pretext for a possible military escalation. Russia must use its influence over the self-proclaimed republics to exercise restraint and de-escalate.
In this regard, we strongly express our support for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, whose observers play a key role in de-escalation efforts. This mission must be able to exercise its full mandate without restrictions on its activities and freedom of movement for the benefit and security of the people of eastern Ukraine.