Brussels, Mar 24 (EFE).- Western leaders were meeting in Brussels on Thursday for emergency Nato, European Union and G7 summits as Russia’s war in Ukraine rages on.
Following their meeting, which was held shortly after the Nato summit, G7 leaders reiterated that they stand with the government and people of Ukraine in the face of “Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal aggression” and the “suffering and loss of life it continues to cause.”
The group condemned the “devastating attacks” on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, and said it would support the collection of evidence of war crimes.
The G7 also repeated its demand that Moscow withdraw its troops from Ukraine immediately and to comply with the International Court of Justice’s order to end what Russian president Vladimir Putin has called a “special military operation.”
The group pledged to continue imposing “severe consequences on Russia, including by fully implementing the economic and financial measures” that have already been applied.
As part of its response, the G7 pledged to reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas, and to limit the Kremlin’s ability to circumvent sanctions through sales of gold.
“We will spare no efforts to hold President Putin and the architects and supporters of this aggression, including the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, accountable for their actions,” the statement said.
The G7 also said it was “resolved in our support to the Ukrainian people in their heroic resistance to Russia’s unjustifiable and illegal aggression” and promised to “step up” support to Ukraine and neighboring countries.
The statement also addressed the repression in Russia of peaceful protesters and critics of the war since the Kremlin banned the publication or distribution of anything it deems to be false information relating to the conflict.
“We deplore the Russian leadership’s attempt to deprive Russian citizens of access to unbiased information through censorship, and denounce its malicious disinformation campaigns”, while praising those citizens in Russia and Belarus for “standing up against the unjustified war of aggression against their close neighbor.”
“The people of Russia must know that we hold no grievances against them. It is President Putin, his government and supporters, including the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, who are imposing this war and its consequences on Russians and it is their decision that besmirches the history of the Russian people,” the group said. EFE