G7 members stress Moscow’s violation of international law
The G7 countries issued a joint statement condemning Russia’s continuing actions aimed at undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
The statement was signed by the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the European Union high representative.
“Today, seven years after Russia’s illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, we reaffirm our unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” the diplomats said.
“The UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the Charter of Paris clearly articulate the fundamental principles of respecting the territorial integrity of any state and prohibiting any use of force to change borders. By using force against the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Russia has clearly violated international law and these principles,” the authors of the document state.
“We unequivocally condemn Russia’s temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Russia’s attempts to legitimize this occupation are not and will not be recognized. We condemn Russia’s human rights violations on the peninsula, especially against Crimean Tatars. We call on Russia to abide by its international obligations, grant access to international observers, and immediately release all those unjustly detained. We fundamentally welcome Ukraine’s initiative to create an International Crimea Platform to consolidate the efforts of the international community on Crimea,” the statement stresses.
“We also strongly oppose Russia’s ongoing efforts to destabilize Ukraine,” the ministers continue, “especially Russia’s actions in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that ignore the commitments it has made under the Minsk agreements. Full implementation of the Minsk agreements is the path to peace. Russia is a party to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, not a mediator.”
“We welcome the recommitment to the ceasefire implemented on July 27 of last year, which has significantly reduced the level of violence in the conflict zone. However, the conflict continues to take lives and cause serious damage to critical infrastructure,” the G7 said. – We deplore the recent escalation of hostilities by Russian-backed militias on the Line of Contact. We call on the Russian Federation to stop fuelling the conflict by providing financial and military support to the armed formations it supports in eastern Ukraine and by granting Russian citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens, and instead to reciprocate Ukraine’s recent steps to improve the lives of people on both sides of the line of contact. We reiterate the importance of upholding the ceasefire as a fundamental element for any progress toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”
“We commend the tireless efforts of France and Germany within the Normandy format to resolve the conflict diplomatically and reiterate our readiness to further support these efforts,” the diplomats said. – “We call on all parties to fully implement the Minsk agreements and stress Russia’s responsibility for constructive participation in the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group in order to achieve a just and lasting political settlement of the conflict.
“The G7 countries remain fully committed to the sanctions regime and will continue to support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Crimea is Ukraine,” summarize the G7 foreign ministers.