The G7 hopes to assure Ukraine of support amid the Gaza war as Russia says Western policies endanger the world.
The Group of Seven (G7) has reiterated its unwavering support for Ukraine as the Israel-Hamas conflict threatens to take the focus off Russia’s invasion. However, Moscow remains defiant, claiming that Western “aggression” risks global catastrophe.
The foreign ministers of the leading industrial democracies said on Wednesday that they had gathered in Japan seeking to “speak … with one clear voice” and forge a consensus amid two serious conflicts and other crises around the world.
“Our steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine’s fight for its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity will never waver … we further call on China not to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine,” the ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, said in a statement.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that amid the war in Gaza, his country’s continuing defence against the Russian invasion must not slip out of focus.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba joined the G7 meeting by video conference.
With the war approaching its third year, Ukraine is braced for a Russian winter offensive targeting energy infrastructure, with more than 60 attacks in recent weeks, Ukraine’s energy ministry said.
‘Destructive policies, colonial agenda’
The Kremlin, meanwhile, warned on Wednesday that the West’s aggressive behaviour could lead to catastrophe.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said that the “destructive” policies of the United States and its allies were increasing the risk that nuclear, chemical or biological weapons would be used.
“The natural consequence of the United States’ destructive policies is the deterioration in the global security,” Patrushev said, according to state news agency TASS.
“The risk that nuclear, chemical and biological weapons will be used is increasing,” Patrushev said. “The international arms control regime has been undermined,” he added, claiming that Ukraine had tried to attack three Russian nuclear power plants.
“We have a doctrine where everything is clearly spelled out. There are no changes. This is confirmed by the president,” Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said when asked to clarify Patrushev’s remarks.
Patrushev also warned of a wider Western colonial agenda, claiming that more countries are falling victim to Western exploitation.
The opening of formal EU membership talks was recommended for Moldova and Ukraine on Wednesday, with Georgia to be awarded candidate status.
Patrushev said Moldova is “on a path to lose its sovereignty and risks becoming another victim of Western colonialism”.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also joined the criticism, accusing the West of provoking crises in the global markets.
He blamed boycotts on Russian energy and a self-serving rush to switch to green energy for hurting global energy security.
Meanwhile, he reported that efforts to renegotiate the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed Ukrainian exports by sea, have broken down again.
The deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last year, allowed Ukraine to safely export grain and deliver much-needed grain all over the world. However, Russia withdrew in July, saying the arrangement was not delivering grain to the poorest countries, and discriminated against its own exports of grain and fertiliser.
Since the deal was scrapped, Russia has concentrated fire on Ukrainian grain storage and port facilities.