As Putin illegally annexes four regions of Ukraine in breach of international law and ups his threatening nuclear narrative while the energy crisis continues relentlessly, international concern around the fallout of the Ukrainian war has risen to new heights.
Earlier this week, this concern reached a tipping point as Russia rained missiles on Ukrainian towns, Kyiv included. Putin claims this is an act of retaliation for the sabotage of the bridge linking Crimea to Russia.
Yesterday, in an urgent response to the 48 hours of deadly missile strikes, the G7 countries immediately called an emergency meeting with Ukraine to discuss the war’s latest developments, the further support that’s required from the international community, and the need for solidarity in their approach going forward.
Though there has been widespread condemnation and sanctioning of Russian forces, as well as many efforts to provide humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, this unified show of strength from the world’s leading democracies is also vital.
The group of seven; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, will now focus on collectively tackling the rapid escalation in Russian offensive and meet to agree on an allied modus operandi.
The meeting comes after many Russian missile attacks were carried out on major cities across Ukraine including Kyiv and recently annexed Zaporizhzhia, on Monday at rush hour – killing dozens and injuring hundreds – leaving many without power or methods of communication.
Russia claims the attacks are in retaliation to the bombing of the Kerch bridge that connects the Crimean peninsula to Russia – an attack that the Kremlin says was carried out by the Ukrainian military.
Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy believes the strikes were primarily targeting his country’s infrastructure and people, a rapid escalation in Russian military activity now seemingly shifting focus from military to civilian targets – a move which the UN warns could constitute a war crime.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) October 11, 2022
In light of this, as well as the ongoing gas shortages and resultant soaring energy prices, the main focus of the emergency G7 summit yesterday was to “reiterate the unity of opposition to Putin’s continued brutality in Ukraine” and protect both the people of Ukraine as well as the stability of the global economy.
They aimed to address how together the G7 and other countries can maintain and scale-up their humanitarian and military support for Ukraine. They also addressed their commitment to ensuring energy security and affordability.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the G7 world leaders to help to build an “air shield” against Russia.
“When Ukraine receives a sufficient quantity of modern and effective air defence systems, the key element of Russia’s terror, rocket strikes, will cease to work,” said Zelenskyy.
In an urgent appeal to the G7 leaders, President Zelenskyy thanked the group for their ongoing support in the form of aid and sanctions, but also reiterated that further help is required if Ukraine is to be able to protect itself from the increasing threat posed by Russian airstrikes and Iranian-made drones.
In another push for Ukraine’s so-called “peace formula” Zelenskyy urged the leaders to forget about negotiating a diplomatic resolution with Putin – which he deems impossible at present – and instead focus global resources on stifling Russia’s economic and political lifelines by imposing more punitive sanctions on their energy sector – an industry which provides a large part of their warfare’s financial fuel.
Zelenskyy clearly stated to the world powers that “Russia must be completely isolated and punished.”
The G7 leaders’ resulting manifesto
All seven nations of the G7 have condemned Russia’s actions since their invasion of Ukraine, with many providing both humanitarian and military support packages to Zelenskyy’s military since February this year.
In yesterday’s joint statement from the G7, they reaffirmed their full support for Ukraine, condemned Russia in stating that they have “blatantly violated the principles enshrined in the UN Charter,” and called out for global backup in demanding Russia cease hostilities.
“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms and recall that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime. We will hold President Putin and those responsible to account,” said the group.
They also denounced Russia’s partial mobilization of reservists; their sham referenda and illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions; their actions at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant; and their “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric,” which the G7 claim is putting global peace and security at risk and will be met with “severe consequences.”
“We reaffirm that any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences,” warned the G7 leaders.
They called upon all countries to “unequivocally reject these violations of international law,” and promised more sanctions on Russia and collaborating entities such as Belarus.
The group also reassured President Zelenskyy that they are “undeterred and steadfast” in their commitment to providing continued “financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
They concluded the part in their statement relating to Ukraine by reiterating:
“No country wants peace more than Ukraine, whose people have suffered death, displacement and countless atrocities as the result of Russian aggression.”
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The need for further humanitarian and military aid, appealed for by Zelenskyy and touched upon in the G7 report, was specifically underscored by UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss, in a statement released by 10 Downing Street prior to the meeting.
The UK claims to have used the virtual meeting to point out that Ukraine’s recent counter-offensive success has only been made possible by the military and humanitarian support provided by the international community, as well as the imposition of sanctions against Russia, highlighting the £2.3 billion financial aid already provided by the UK as part of this effort.
Truss is expected to have urged G7 leaders to maintain this level of international support going forward, and called for a gathering of NATO leaders to ensure allies “remain united and resolute in their opposition to Putin’s behavior.”
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg has also echoed Truss’ call to action, underscoring how NATO will provide Ukraine with increased aid and air defence systems.
— NATO (@NATO) October 11, 2022
The US and Germany have also pledged air-defense provisions for Ukraine. With Germany delivering “IRIS-T” missiles, and America immediately expediting the shipment of National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to Ukraine after the meeting yesterday.
A new era of air defence has begun in 🇺🇦. IRIS-Ts from 🇩🇪 are already here. 🇺🇸 NASAMS are coming. This is only the beginning. And we need more. No doubt that russia is a terrorist state.
There is a moral imperative to protect the sky over 🇺🇦 in order to save our people. pic.twitter.com/jvbXUwDjc8
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) October 11, 2022
France has also announced deployment of increased military and humanitarian support for Ukraine, as the French defense minister, Sébastien Lecornu, announced President Macron’s latest order to increase French military presence on eastern European borders via more armored vehicles, and a tank squadron. The French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, also warned Belarus that more sanctions will be imposed if they further involve themselves in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
In their group statement on Tuesday, the G7 stated that they are “deeply troubled by the deliberate damage to the Nordstream pipelines in international waters in the Baltic Sea and strongly condemn any deliberate disruption of critical infrastructure,” stating that they welcome the continuation of the investigation into the matter.
In their joint address to the world, the leaders of the G7 stood strong alongside President Zelenskyy, calling on all countries to join them in helping Ukraine to preserve its “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” They went on to conclude the statement, saying:
“We will act in solidarity and close coordination to address the negative impact of Russia’s aggression for global economic stability, including by continuing to cooperate to ensure energy security and affordability across the G7 and beyond.“
This morning, I spoke with President Zelenskyy and G7 Leaders about our unwavering commitment to hold Russia accountable for its war and support Ukraine for as long as it takes. pic.twitter.com/SzXLWyjjeq
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 11, 2022
Correction: This article has been updated since publication to amend the subtitle to better represent the article; remove mention of OPEC and section on gas prices due to these sections being unrelated to the main focus of the article; amend paragraph on France’s military support due to minor error; and amend the conclusion to add a quote from the G7 statement and remove the Kremlin’s response due to the source no longer being available.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — Featured Photo: President Biden speaks about Russian sanctions at G7 Summit in Germany 2022. Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons.