G7 pledges its military, diplomatic support to Ukraine

Update 1: Changes headline/lede, adds detail throughout

Karuizawa, Japan, Apr 17 (EFE).- G7 foreign ministers pledged their military and diplomatic support to Ukraine on Monday on the second day of meetings in the Japanese city of Karuizawa.

The diplomatic leaders of the Group of Seven analyzed the situation in Ukraine and agreed that “the Russian offensive was clearly failing,” a European official told Efe at the Prince Karuizawa Hotel which is hosting the summit until Tuesday.

“The G7 Foreign Ministers confirmed that they remain committed to intensifying, fully coordinating and enforcing sanctions against Russia, as well as to continuing strong support for Ukraine,” Japan’s foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said.

“They (the G7) underscored that Russia must withdraw all forces and equipment from Ukraine immediately and unconditionally,” Hayashi added.

As protracted fighting in Bakhmut rumbles on and with Russian troops in defensive positions in the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, the European official told EFE that all G7 countries had agreed to offer military and diplomatic support to Ukraine in its attempts to recover lost territory.

G7 leaders also explored “what nations could offer in the medium and long term as a security guarantee” to Ukraine, which in the case of the European Union means considering Kyiv’s application to join the bloc, the EU official added.

The same source said that the G7 had not yet addressed the option of a ceasefire or negotiations for peace in Ukraine because “the right conditions do not exist”.

The foreign ministers also discussed China’s role in the war and agreed on the need for Beijing to identify Moscow as the aggressor in the conflict as well as calling on the Asian giant to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the EU official added.

However, the EU spokesperson said European representatives were not expecting China to shift its strategy regarding the conflict after several high-profile visits from EU leaders to Beijing had done little to encourage President Xi Jinping to denounce Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine.

Japan, which currently holds the G7 presidency, has also called for strengthening cooperation with “third countries”, including those from the so-called “global south”, intending to seek greater support among them in condemning Moscow and ensuring economic sanctions have their maximum effect.

Hayashi also stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element for the prosperity of the international community and called for a peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region.

The G7 meeting comes amid a further escalation in tensions around Taiwan, over fresh Chinese military maneuvers in response to the recent visit to the United States by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

The G7 countries are negotiating a joint declaration which is expected to be adopted on Tuesday at the end of the meeting in Karuizawa.

The language of the final text of the joint declaration of the G7 foreign ministers will hold much significance, especially concerning the situation and the Indo-Pacific. EFE


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