| 23 February 2024, Friday |

G7 vows new Russia sanctions if invasion continues

Leaders of the G7 group of affluent nations warned more penalties against Russia on Sunday, saying they would not acknowledge Moscow’s military successes if it continued its invasion of Ukraine.

In a joint statement, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States warned that if Russia did not stop its operation, they would “take further steps” to add to the penalties currently in place.

The G7 foreign ministers stressed in a joint statement that any military achievements made by Russia in Ukraine as a result of its current campaign resulting to “any change of status,” such as the annexation of territory, “would not be recognized.”

Russia has already been sanctioned by the West for invading neighboring Ukraine.

It has barred several Russian banks from participating in the international bank payments system SWIFT, and has singled out President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for special attention.

After individual member states and the United Kingdom took similar actions, the European Union announced intentions to restrict Russian jets from its airspace on Sunday.

In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, but the West has refused to acknowledge the change in status.

According to monitoring groups, Moscow has also backed rebels in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Lugansk areas since 2014, in a battle that has cost over 14,000 lives.

Putin’s decision this week to recognize the breakaway republics as independent governments drew worldwide condemnation as a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

The move served as a warm-up for the invasion on Thursday.

  • AFP