ISTANBUL, Feb 28  — The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations said Sunday they will continue to take steps if Russia does not stop its “war of aggression” against Ukraine.

The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US held a video conference chaired by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and also attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. 

According to a statement after the meeting, they condemned “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, enabled by Belarus.”

“The G7 have brought forward massive and coordinated sanctions, including on Belarus as it facilitates the Russian assault,” reported Anadolu Agency citing the statement. 

They called on Russia to “immediately stop the ongoing assault.”

“Russia will be held responsible for any damage its military aggression inflicts on Ukraine and its population as well as on internationals and their property,” it added.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has entered its fifth day, with the latest reports indicating that Russian troops are heading toward the capital, Kyiv.

The intervention was met by an outcry from the international community, with the European Union, UK and US implementing a range of economic sanctions against the Kremlin. 

Russia has been further isolated as its airlines have been banned from travelling in European airspace and a number of its banks have been kicked out of the SWIFT international banking system.

Prior to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin was reported to have ordered the military intervention Thursday, days after recognising two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine.  

He claimed that Moscow had no plan to occupy the neighbouring country but wanted to “demilitarise” and “denasify” Ukraine. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy however accused Russia of trying to install a puppet government and said Ukrainians will defend their country against Russian aggression.


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