Russia Should Withdraw From Ukrainian Border Or Face “Massive Consequences”


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The United States on Saturday urged Russia to pull back from Ukraine’s edge, warning that the G7 and its allies will impose tough measures if it abandons diplomacy.

A senior State Department official told reporters at a meeting of the group’s top diplomats in Liverpool, northwest England, that Moscow still had time to change course.

“But if they choose not to continue down this path, there will be massive consequences and high costs in response, and the G7 is absolutely united in this regard,” the official said.

“A lot of democratic countries will join us in imposing costs,” they added.

The warning came as Russia stood out against Ukraine and how to counter an increasingly assertive China dominated on the first day of a two-day meeting of G7 foreign ministers in the British city. .

The meeting – in which ministers want to present a united front against authoritarianism – is the last in-person gathering of Britain’s G7 presidency, which lasted for a year, before handing over to Germany.

Opening the talks, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told delegates: “We must unite firmly to resist the aggressors who seek to limit the limits of freedom and democracy.

“To do this, we must have a fully united voice. We must expand our economic and security position in the world.”

Truss, in office since September, laid out his vision for foreign policy in a major speech on Wednesday, echoing US threats of unprecedented sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Western concerns are growing about an accumulation of Russian troops on the border which the Kremlin says is defensive against any movement of the former Soviet state eastward towards NATO.

G7 ministers want to show that the group can go beyond condemnation to firmly defend its values ​​as a deterrent against future threats.

The meeting comes after US President Joe Biden this week held a virtual summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in an attempt to end the standoff diplomatically.

Washington’s top diplomat for Europe and Eurasian affairs Karen Donfried is traveling to Kiev and Moscow next week for follow-up talks with senior government officials.

She will then travel to Brussels for further discussions with NATO and EU allies.

China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flies to Southeast Asia next week for a visit to highlight the region’s importance in Washington’s campaign for “peace, security and prosperity” in the Indo-Pacific region against China.

Britain’s G7 presidency has been dominated by responding to Beijing’s alleged widespread violations of national rights, as well as rampant authoritarianism in its former colony, Hong Kong.

This week, a panel of lawyers and human rights experts in London concluded that China had committed genocide by imposing demographic restrictions, including birth control and forced sterilizations, on its Muslim minority Uyghur.

China has rejected the tribunal’s findings.

Biden pushed the G7 to take a stronger collective stance towards Russia and China, and this week Washington, London and Canberra announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

In Liverpool, delegates want to end the “strategic dependence” of a growing number of low- and middle-income countries on G7 adversaries, in fields ranging from energy to technology.

Participants are urged to provide these countries with more funding for infrastructure and technology projects, according to the Foreign Ministry.

G7 countries and their allies must offer “an alternative to the unsustainable debt of non-market economies” like China, he said.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministers will join the G7 summit for the first time on Sunday, in a session set aside for wide-ranging discussions on issues such as vaccines Covid-19, finance and gender equality.

South Korea, Australia, South Africa and India will also participate as G7 “guests” chosen by Britain, with many participants participating virtually due to the pandemic and the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Truss said she wanted closer ties between G7 countries in the areas of trade, investment, technology and security to “defend and advance freedom and democracy across the world.” .

She will also unveil a UK-led initiative to boost collaboration by investing in Africa’s “most fragile markets” and help develop “a pipeline of investment opportunities.”

(AFP)


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