Thursday March 24, 2022 | from BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
STATEMENT AS RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER’s OFFICE | Posted by Island Social Trends
March 24, 2022
We, the Leaders of the G7, met today in Brussels at the invitation of the German G7 Presidency, to further strengthen our cooperation in light of Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal aggression and President Putin’s war of choice against independent and sovereign Ukraine. We will stand with the government and people of Ukraine.
We are united in our resolve to restore peace and stability and uphold international law. Following the United Nations General Assembly resolution on 2 March 2022, we will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of the international community, in condemning Russia’s military aggression and the suffering and loss of life it continues to cause.
We remain appalled by and condemn the devastating attacks on the Ukrainian population and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools. We welcome the investigations of international mechanisms, including by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. We will work together to support the gathering of evidence of war crimes. The siege of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, and the denial of humanitarian access by Russian military forces are unacceptable. Russian forces must immediately provide for safe pathways to other parts of Ukraine, as well as humanitarian aid to be delivered to Mariupol and other besieged cities.
The Russian leadership is obligated to immediately comply with the order of the International Court of Justice to suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine, without any further delay. We also urge Russia to withdraw its military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.
We further call upon the Belarusian authorities to avoid further escalation and to refrain from using their military forces against Ukraine. Moreover, we urge all countries not to give military or other assistance to Russia to help continue its aggression in Ukraine. We will be vigilant regarding any such assistance.
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. To this end, we will continue to work together, along with our allies and partners around the world.
We underline our resolve to impose severe consequences on Russia, including by fully implementing the economic and financial measures we already imposed. We will continue to cooperate closely, including by engaging other governments on adopting similar restrictive measures to those already imposed by G7 members and on refraining from evasion, circumvention and backfilling that seek to undercut or mitigate the effects of our sanctions. We task the relevant Ministers in a focused initiative to monitor the full implementation of sanctions and to coordinate responses related to evasive measures, including regarding gold transactions by the Central Bank of Russia. We stand ready to apply additional measures as required, continuing to act in unity as we do so. We commend those partners who have aligned with us in these efforts.
Russia’s attack has already risked the safety and security of nuclear sites in Ukraine. Russian military activities are creating extreme risks for the population and the environment, with the potential for catastrophic result. Russia must comply with its international obligations and refrain from any activity that imperils nuclear sites, allowing unhindered control by the Ukrainian authorities, as well as full access by and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
We warn against any threat of the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons or related materials. We recall Russia’s obligations under the international treaties to which it is a signatory, and which protect us all. In this regard, we categorically denounce Russia’s malicious and completely unfounded disinformation campaign against Ukraine, a state in full compliance with international non-proliferation agreements. We express concern about other countries and actors that have amplified Russia’s disinformation campaign.
We are resolved in our support to the Ukrainian people in their heroic resistance to Russia’s unjustifiable and illegal aggression. We will step up our support to Ukraine and neighbouring countries. We thank all those who are already providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and ask others to join. We will furthermore collaborate in our efforts to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
We will continue efforts to support Ukraine in defending its networks against cyber incidents. In preparation for any Russian malicious cyber response to the actions we have taken, we are taking steps to increase the resilience of the infrastructure in our respective nations by strengthening our coordinated cyber defences and improving our shared awareness of cyber threats. We will also work to hold accountable those actors that engage in destructive, disruptive, or destabilising activities in cyberspace.
We further commend neighbouring states for their solidarity and humanity in welcoming Ukrainian refugees and third country nationals from Ukraine. We highlight the need to further increase international assistance to countries neighbouring Ukraine, and, as a concrete contribution to this end, underline our commitment to receiving, protecting, and supporting refugees and displaced persons as a consequence of the conflict. We thus all stand ready to welcome them on our territories. We will take further steps to broaden our support to Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
We are concerned by the escalating and reinforced repression against the Russian people and the increasingly hostile rhetoric of the Russian leadership, including against ordinary citizens. We deplore the Russian leadership’s attempt to deprive Russian citizens of access to unbiased information through censorship, and denounce its malicious disinformation campaigns, which we will not leave unaddressed. We express our support to those Russian and Belarusian citizens standing up against the unjustified war of aggression against their close neighbour Ukraine. The world sees them.
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.
We are taking further steps to reduce our reliance on Russian energy, and will work together to this end. At the same time, we will ensure secure alternative and sustainable supplies, and act in solidarity and close coordination in the case of possible supply disruptions. We commit to actively support countries willing to phase out their dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports. We call on oil and gas producing countries to act in a responsible manner and to increase deliveries to international markets, noting that OPEC has a key role to play. We will work with them and all partners to ensure stable and sustainable global energy supplies. This crisis reinforces our determination to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and of the Glasgow climate pact and limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C, by accelerating reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels and our transition to clean energy.
We stand in solidarity with our partners who have to bear the rising price of President Putin’s unilateral choice to wage war in Europe. His decision is putting the global economic recovery at risk, undermines the resilience of global value chains and will have severe impacts on the most fragile countries. We call on the international community to take action by fully recognising Russia’s responsibility and protecting the most vulnerable countries, with the support of international and regional institutions.
More immediately, President Putin’s war places global food security under increased pressure. We recall that the implementation of our sanctions against Russia takes into account the need to avoid impact on global agricultural trade. We remain determined to monitor the situation closely and do what is necessary to prevent and respond to the evolving global food security crisis. We will make coherent use of all instruments and funding mechanisms to address food security, and build resilience in the agriculture sector in line with climate and environment goals. We will address potential agricultural production and trade disruptions, in particular in vulnerable countries. We commit to provide a sustainable food supply in Ukraine and support continued Ukrainian production efforts.
We will work with and step up our collective contribution to relevant international institutions including the World Food Programme (WFP), in parallel with Multilateral Development Banks and International Financial Institutions, to provide support to countries with acute food insecurity. We call for an extraordinary session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to address the consequences on world food security and agriculture arising from the Russian aggression against Ukraine. We call on all participants of the Agriculture Markets Information System (AMIS) to continue to share information and explore options to keep prices under control, including making stocks available, in particular to the WFP. We will avoid export bans and other trade-restrictive measures, maintain open and transparent markets, and call on others to do likewise, consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, including WTO notification requirements.
International organisations and multilateral fora should no longer conduct their activities with Russia in a business as usual manner. We will work closely with our partners to act as appropriate, based on shared interests, as well as rules and regulations of respective institutions.