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Russia must stop assault against Ukraine: G7 countries

G7 foreign ministers say they are deeply concerned with the catastrophic humanitarian toll taken by Russia’s continuing strikes against the civilian population. They also condemned Russian aggression.

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The foreign ministers of G7 countries reiterated their “profound condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war of choice against Ukraine, enabled by the Belarussian government,” on Friday.

In a joint statement, foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, and the high representative of the EU said Russia “must immediately stop its ongoing assault against Ukraine, which has dramatically impacted the civilian population and destroyed civilian infrastructure, and immediately withdraw Russia’s military forces.”

“With its further aggression, (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin has isolated Russia in the world, as evidenced by the overwhelming vote at the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia’s aggression and calling upon it to withdraw its forces immediately,” the G7 ministers noted.

Expressing “heart-felt solidarity with the Ukrainian people and … sympathy with the victims of this war and their families,” the statement condemned the “Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.”

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The ministers also called on Russia to “uphold its obligation to fully respect international humanitarian law and human rights law.”

They said: “Ukrainian and UN humanitarian agencies, medical personnel, and non-governmental assistance providers must be given safe, rapid and unimpeded access to people in need immediately throughout the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

“We acknowledge the announcement of an arrangement on humanitarian access as an important first step. This will need to be implemented reliably and swiftly.”

Urging Russia “to stop its attacks especially in the direct vicinity of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants,” they said such an attack would constitute a “violation of the principles of international law.”

Civilian casualties

The G7 foreign ministers also said they are “deeply concerned with the catastrophic humanitarian toll taken by Russia’s continuing strikes against the civilian population of Ukraine’s cities.”

“We reemphasize that indiscriminate attacks are prohibited by international humanitarian law.

“We will hold accountable those responsible for war crimes, including indiscriminate use of weapons against civilians, and we welcome the ongoing work to investigate and gather evidence, including by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC),” they added.

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The statement also underlined that Russia’s “blatant violation” of the fundamental principles of international peace and security and the “breach of international law have not gone unanswered,” adding that they will continue “to impose further severe sanctions in response to Russian aggression, enabled by the Lukashenka regime in Belarus.”

Disinformation

The statement said the G7 countries “condemn the widespread use of disinformation by the Russian Government and its affiliated media and proxies to support its military aggression against Ukraine.”

“Their steady stream of fabricated claims is putting additional lives at risk. We commit to countering Russia’s disinformation campaign.”

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It also reaffirmed “support and commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.”

“We underline that any purported change of status achieved by Russia’s renewed aggression will not be recognized.”

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk