Geopolitical risks: G7 warns Russia of ‘massive consequences’ if Ukraine is attacked

Russia faces massive consequences and severe costs if President Vladimir Putin attacks Ukraine, the G7 warned in a statement over the weekend.

The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, as well as a representative from the European Union.

US intelligence assesses that Russia could be planning a multi-front offensive on Ukraine as early as next year, involving up to 175,000 troops.

However, the Kremlin denies it plans to invade and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian sentiment.

At a meeting in Liverpool in the UK, the G7 delegates said they were united in their condemnation of Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine and they called on Moscow to de-escalate.

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

“We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the right of any sovereign state to determine its own future.”

The UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said all forms of economic sanctions against Russia were on the table if it made an incursion into Ukraine, and hinted she may be prepared to look again at the UK’s laws against money laundering.

Economic sanctions could also include restricting access to global finance markets and setting new conditions on funding Russian government debt.

A statement released by the Russian Embassy in London on Saturday evening, before the joint G7 document was reported, said that Britain’s frequent use of the phrase “Russian aggression” during the Liverpool meeting was misleading and designed to create a cause for the G7 to rally round.

“Russia has made numerous offers to NATO on ways to decrease tensions. The G7 forum could be an opportunity to discuss them, but so far we hear nothing but aggressive slogans,” the embassy statement said.

In 2014 Russia seized the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine, prompting the West to impose sanctions on Russia.

The Kremlin on Sunday said that Putin told US President Joe Biden that Russian troops posed no threat and that Moscow was being demonised for moving troops around its own territory.

Putin and Biden have agreed to hold more talks, Moscow said.

“We call on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels and abide by its international commitments on transparency of military activities,” the G7 said.

“We reconfirm our support for the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to achieve full implementation of the Minsk Agreements in order to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.”

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