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G7 Leaders' Statement: 24 February 2024

The leaders of G7 countries issued a joint statement on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

We the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) met recently (24 February 2024) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine and salute once more the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people who have been fighting tirelessly for Ukraine’s freedom and democratic future.

They have resisted for two years Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked full-scale invasion which constitutes a blatant violation of the UN Charter. They have proven their will to defeat President Putin’s war machine, restore their nation’s territorial integrity, and defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.

President Putin has failed to achieve his strategic objective of subjugating Ukraine. Instead, he is forcing his own people to pay a heavy price for his government’s reckless actions each day. He has drained Russia’s resources to fund an unnecessary war, torn Russian families apart, and claimed hundreds of thousands of Russian lives.

We remain convinced that we can ensure the people of Ukraine prevail in fighting for their future and help to forge a comprehensive, just and durable peace.

On this occasion, we also pay tribute to the extraordinary courage of Alexei Navalny and stand with his wife, children, and loved ones. He sacrificed his life fighting against the Kremlin’s corruption and for free and fair elections in Russia. We call on the Russian government to fully clarify the circumstances around his death. We equally call on the Russian government to free all unjustly detained prisoners and to stop the persecution of political opposition and the systematic repression of Russians’ rights and freedoms. We will hold those culpable for Navalny’s death accountable, including by continuing to impose restrictive measures in response to human rights violations and abuses in Russia and taking other actions.

1.

We will continue to support Ukraine’s right to self-defence and reiterate our commitment to Ukraine’s long-term security, including by concluding and implementing bilateral security commitments and arrangements, based on the Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine we endorsed in Vilnius last July. We are stepping up our security assistance to Ukraine and are increasing our production and delivery capabilities, to assist the country.

Ten years after the Maidan protests, we stand with the Ukrainian government and people as they buttress the foundations of their democratic state through vital reforms, especially to reinforce their justice system and rule of law, and tackle corruption. These endeavours are part of Ukraine’s path to Euro-Atlantic integration. We praise Ukraine’s achievements to date and welcome the European Council’s decision last December to open accession negotiations with Ukraine. We welcome Ukraine’s progress towards meeting the IMF Extended Fund Facility programme’s conditionality.

Russia must not succeed in wrecking Ukraine’s economy to make up for its failures on the battlefield. We will help Ukraine meet its urgent financing needs, and assist other vulnerable countries severely affected by the impacts of Russia’s war. We strongly welcome the EU’s approval of the Ukraine Facility of EUR 50 billion. It will provide crucial financial support to Ukraine until 2027. We also welcome additional economic support others have approved as we seek to close Ukraine’s remaining financing gap, as well as Japan’s swift delivery of its budget support in the first quarter of 2024 and Canada’s new funding. We urge the approval of additional support to close Ukraine’s remaining budget gap for 2024.

Ukraine’s reconstruction, starting with early recovery measures, remains a key priority. We will continue to work, with the Ukrainian authorities and International Financial Institutions through the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine and by leveraging private investments. We welcome the Platform’s expansion to include the Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Further to the successful Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction, we look forward to the Ukraine Recovery Conferences, to be hosted in Berlin in 2024 and in Rome in 2025.

2.

We call on Russia to immediately cease its war of aggression and completely and unconditionally withdraw its military forces from the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine. We call on all countries to uphold international law and in no way validate or condone Russia’s attempts to acquire territory by force. We will never recognise so-called “elections”, past and future, held by Russia in the territories of Ukraine, nor their results. Russia’s stated intention to hold votes for its Presidential elections in Ukrainian regions is an outrageous violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

We strongly condemn Russia’s continuous brutal attacks on civilians and critical civil infrastructure and war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, including sexual violence. We strongly condemn Russia’s human rights violations in the territories Russia occupies. We remain committed to holding those responsible accountable for their atrocities against the people of Ukraine, in line with international law. We support investigations by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Prosecutor-General of Ukraine, and other national prosecutors within their jurisdictions. We welcome ongoing discussions in the Core Group, exploring the establishment of a tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. We call on Russia to release all persons it has unlawfully detained and to safely return all civilians it has illegally transferred or deported, starting with thousands of children. We welcome the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children, launched by Ukraine and Canada. We also stress the importance of advancing towards an exchange of all prisoners of war and welcome efforts in this regard by other partner countries and actors. Finally, we will continue to support Ukrainian displaced persons and refugees and protect those in need. We reiterate our support for the Council of Europe Register of Damage for Ukraine.

As Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues to undermine global food security, we celebrate Ukraine’s success in significantly expanding food exports through the Black Sea, which will help feed the world. Thanks to Ukraine’s maritime corridor and the EU’s solidarity lanes, Ukraine is on track to export all grain from its 2023 harvest despite Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian ports and its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. We will continue to help Ukraine export its grain and agricultural products to the most vulnerable nations, including through the implementation of the Grain Verification Scheme that Ukraine will lead this year. We call on Russia to cease its efforts to weaponise food supply and support safe commercial navigation of the Black Sea.

Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, its posture of strategic intimidation and its undermining of arms control regimes are unacceptable. Threats by Russia of nuclear weapon use, let alone any use of nuclear weapons by Russia, in the context of its war of aggression against Ukraine are inadmissible.

3.

We will continue to raise the cost of Russia’s war, degrade Russia’s sources of revenue and impede its efforts to build its war machine, as demonstrated by our recently approved sanctions packages. We remain committed to fully implementing and enforcing our sanctions on Russia and adopting new measures as necessary. We continue to counter, in close cooperation with third countries, any attempts to evade and circumvent our sanctions and export control measures. We will impose additional sanctions on companies and individuals in third countries who help Russia acquire weapons or key inputs for weapons. We will also impose sanctions on those who help Russia acquire tools and other equipment that aid Russian weapons production or military-industrial development.

We will continue to apply significant pressure on Russian revenues from energy and other commodities. We will continue to take steps to tighten compliance and enforcement of the oil price cap. While working to maintain supply stability, we will respond to price cap violations, including by imposing additional sanctions measures on those engaged in deceptive practices while transporting Russian oil and against the networks Russia has developed to extract additional revenue from price cap violations. We will continue taking steps to limit Russia’s future energy revenues. We will continue to impede Russia’s development of future energy projects and disrupt its development of alternatives for energy shipping and other services. We will continue efforts to reduce Russia’s revenues from metals.

We will continue to take action against third-country actors who materially support Russia’s war including by imposing additional measures on entities, where appropriate, in third countries. We call on financial institutions to refrain from supporting Russia’s war machine and we will take appropriate steps, consistent with our legal systems, to deter this behaviour. Financial institutions and other entities that facilitate Russia’s acquisition of items or equipment for its defence industrial base are supporting actions that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine. We strongly condemn North Korea’s exports and Russia’s procurement of North Korea’s ballistic missiles in direct violation of relevant UNSCRs and call upon them to immediately cease such activities. We call upon Iran to stop assisting the Russian military and its war in Ukraine. We express our concern about transfers to Russia from businesses in the People’s Republic of China of dual-use materials and components for weapons and equipment for military production.

It is not right for Russia to decide if or when it will pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine. These damages now exceed USD486 billion, according to the World Bank. Russia’s obligations under international law to pay for the damage it is causing are clear. We are determined to dispel any false notion that time is on Russia’s side, that destroying infrastructure and livelihoods has no consequences for Russia, or that Russia could prevail by causing Ukraine to fail economically. Russia should not be able to indefinitely delay payment it owes. We recognise the urgency of disrupting Russia’s attempts to destroy the Ukrainian economy and Russia’s continued failure to abide by its international law obligations. We are determined to ensure full accountability and we support Ukraine in obtaining compensation for the loss, injury and damage resulting from Russia’s aggression.

We reaffirm that, consistent with our respective legal systems, Russia’s sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilised until Russia pays for the damage it caused to Ukraine. We welcome the adoption of the EU legal acts concerning extraordinary revenues of central securities depositories gained from Russia’s immobilised sovereign assets and encourage further steps to enable their use, consistent with applicable contractual obligations and in accordance with applicable laws. We ask our ministers to continue their work and update ahead of the Apulia Summit on all possible avenues by which immobilised Russian sovereign assets could be made use of to support Ukraine, consistent with our respective legal systems and international law.

4.

As we move forward, we continue our support to Ukraine in further developing President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and commit ourselves to supporting a comprehensive, just and lasting peace consistent with the principles of the UN Charter, international law and respectful of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. As Ukraine enters the third year of this relentless war, its government and its people can count on the G7’s support for as long as it takes.

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/prime-ministers-office-10-downing-street

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/g7-leaders-statement-24-february-2024

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