G7 condemns Russia’s escalation in Ukraine, calls for grain deal extension

Berlin, Nov 4 (EFE).- G7 members on Friday condemned Russia’s recent targeted attacks on critical infrastructure and other civilian targets in Ukraine, as well as the use of Iranian drones during attacks.

“We condemn Russia’s recent escalation, including its attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, in particular energy and water facilities, across Ukraine using missiles and Iranian drones and trainers,” a joint statement read.

The foreign ministers of the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany, which currently holds the presidency, added that “Russia is trying to terrorize the civilian population”.

Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are war crimes, the statement added, as the group of seven pledged to ensure “full accountability for these and crimes against humanity.”

On Thursday, German foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, announced a coordinated action plan for Ukraine to help Ukraine repair, restore and defend its critical energy and water infrastructure.

The foreign ministers of the world’s seven most advanced economies meeting in Münster (western Germany) also urged Russia to extend and guarantee the continuity of a deal allowing the safe passage of grain through the Black Sea.

Moscow suspended the agreement over the weekend before returning to the deal on Wednesday following talks mediated by Turkey.

The G7 unanimously agreed that maintaining the Black Sea Grain Initiative —which Russia and Ukraine signed with the United Nations and Turkey on July 22 after complex negotiations and which expires on November 19 —was crucial and warned of the global repercussions should the trade agreement collapse again.

Ahead of Friday’s plenary session, a meeting was held in a reduced format with four members — the US, France, Germany and the UK — where the “most sensitive” issues were addressed.

The crunch talks were followed by a bilateral meeting between Baerbock and the new Italian foreign affairs chief, Antonio Tajani, of the Forza Italia party.

The group of seven was later joined by the European Union’s top diplomat, Joseph Borrell who called on Western countries to avoid becoming dependent on China.

In statements to German broadcaster Phoenix, Borrell said that China was consolidating a new era in foreign and domestic policy under a much more assertive line and that the West should reduce its dependency on Beijing and identify economic vulnerabilities.

The G7 ministerial meeting is the last appointment under Germany’s presidency, after which Japan will take over. EFE


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