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Group of Seven leaders vowed to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” and condemned Russia’s recent steps to escalate its war there “in the strongest possible terms.”
During a 90-minute video call Tuesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, G-7 leaders pledged their “undeterred and steadfast” commitment to helping the government in Kyiv “uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the leaders of the U.S., Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and the U.K. said in a joint statement. They also promised to “impose further economic costs on Russia” and “to coordinate efforts to meet Ukraine’s urgent requirements for military and defense equipment.”
The G-7 leaders conferred one day after Russia launched a series of missile strikes in Kyiv and a dozen other cities that struck key infrastructure targets, as well as civilian sites.
In their statement, they said that such “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime” and that they would hold President Vladimir Putin “and those responsible to account.”
They also exchanged views on the OPEC+ decision last week to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, according to a G-7 official. Leaders discussed whether to add a critical remark on the move to their final statement, but they ultimately dropped the idea, said the official, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential talks.
In their published statement, the leaders attacked what they called “deliberate Russian escalatory steps” and said the tactics were “putting European and global peace and security at risk.” They didn’t provide details of any specific new steps they would take or weapons they would supply to Ukraine.
They said they were “deeply troubled” by what they called the “deliberate damage” last month to the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea that transport Russian gas to Germany’s north coast.
Swedish investigators said last week that detonations caused the ruptures, with the evidence pointing to a deliberate act that Germany’s vice chancellor suggested was ordered by the Kremlin. Russia has denied responsibility and asked that its authorities and state-owned gas company Gazprom PJSC be allowed to join the investigation.
The incidents sparked fears that Russia could stage surreptitious attacks on vital energy links to trigger price increases as winter approaches.
“We strongly condemn any deliberate disruption of critical infrastructure,” the G-7 leaders said, toning down language in an earlier draft seen by Bloomberg that referred to “reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage.”
They also left out a threat that “any deliberate disruption of critical infrastructure” would be met “with a united and determined response.”
The final statement included a reference to Belarus that wasn’t in the draft.
Leaders reiterated a call for the government in Minsk to “stop enabling the Russian war of aggression by permitting Russian armed forces to use Belarusian territory and by providing support to the Russian military.”