G7 warns of ‘severe cost’ if Russia invades Ukraine

Pool via Reuters
Leaders pose for the family photograph on day two of the G7 foreign ministers meeting in Liverpool on Sunday.

LIVERPOOL, England (Jiji Press) — The Group of Seven foreign ministers Sunday warned that Russia will have to pay “severe cost” if it invades Ukraine.

In a joint statement issued after their two-day meeting to Sunday, the ministers said they “are united in our condemnation of Russia’s military buildup and aggressive rhetoric toward Ukraine.”

“Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response,” said the statement focusing on the two countries.

The G-7 meeting in Liverpool, England, brought together Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told a news conference Sunday that the G-7 has made clear that any invasion of Ukraine by Russia would have grave consequences.

According to the British government, participants discussed large-scale sanctions with powerful effects that could be imposed on Russia.

The G-7 members urged Russia to reduce its troops near its border with Ukraine, estimated to reach some 100,000, in stages and de-escalate the situation through diplomatic efforts.

Regarding China, the G-7 members discussed human rights problems in Xinjiang and the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

In a chair’s statement also released after the meeting, the G-7 officials expressed their “concern about coercive economic policies” of China.

Criticism is intensifying over China’s so-called debt traps to increase its influence over developing countries by extending huge loans for infrastructure construction.

At the news conference, Truss called for like-minded, freedom-loving democratic countries to extend the reach of their investment, economic and trade activities, pointing to the need to strengthen assistance to developing nations to counter China.

In the chair’s statement, the G-7 also urged North Korea to refrain from provocative actions, abandon all unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in accordance with U.N. resolutions and resolve the abduction issue immediately.

Officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ member states excluding Myanmar were invited to G-7 sessions for the first time.

Discussions among the G-7 and ASEAN officials covered the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region and measures to strengthen security and economic cooperation.

From Japan, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi attended the G-7 meeting. This was his first overseas trip since he took office last month.