G7 Calls on Other Countries to Cease Support for Russia

Courtesy of Cabinet Public Affairs Office
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida participates in an online Group of Seven summit meeting.

The leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized countries reaffirmed their enhanced sanctions against Russia and their continued support for Ukraine during an online summit meeting held from late Friday night Japan time.

In the leaders’ statement issued after the talks, the leaders called on “third-countries,” with such countries as China in mind, to cease providing material support to Russia. The leaders warned that countries which do not respond to the request will “face severe costs.”

The video summit was hosted by Japan, which holds this year’s G7 presidency, in the wake of the anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The meeting lasted for about 90 minutes through early Saturday.

“The G7 will demonstrate its strong determination to stop Russia’s aggression and uphold the international order based on the rule of law, through concrete efforts including stringent sanctions against Russia and robust support for Ukraine,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized during the talks. “It is significant to prevent third parties from providing military support to Russia,” the prime minister also said.

In the statement, the leaders called on Russia “to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from the entire internationally recognized territory of Ukraine.”

The statement said the G7 is committed to maintaining and strengthening sanctions against Russia that have been imposed by the G7 countries, and other like-minded countries and that “new coordinated economic actions against Russia” will be imposed “in the days and weeks ahead.”

Specifically, the leaders reaffirmed taking steps “to limit Russia’s energy revenue and future extractive capabilities.” The statement also mentioned additional sanctions against Russian financial institutions.

The G7 set forth a plan to establish an “enforcement coordination mechanism” to prevent evasion and circumvention of sanctions. The group called on “third-countries” — which are not G7 members or like-minded countries — “to cease providing material support to Russia’s war.” This is likely an admonition toward China, as it is believed Beijing is considering providing weapons to Russia.

The leaders also reaffirmed that Russia will have to pay for the damage suffered by Ukraine. To this end, the G7 members showed their determination that “Russia’s sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilized until there is a resolution to the conflict.”

The G7 warned anew that use by Russia of nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction “would be met with severe consequences.”

As for Ukraine, the G7 expressed its commitment to coordinated efforts to meet the country’s pressing military and defense equipment needs, with an immediate focus on air defense systems as well as needed munitions and tanks.

During the summit talks, Kishida announced Japan’s new sanctions against Russia, including freezing assets of Russian individuals and organizations as well as Russian financial institutions. Kishida also revealed a plan to expand the ban on exports that contribute to the enhancement of Russian industrial capacities, such as drone-related items.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who participated in the online summit meeting, called on the G7 leaders for continued support, saying that “you and I can make this year, 2023, to be the year of the end of Russian aggression, the year of the return to peace, the year of the liberation of our land and our people from Russian captivity.”