The text of the following statement was issued by the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States of America, and by the High Representative of the European Union.

Beginning text:

We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union , remain gravely concerned about the threat of Russian military build-up around Ukraine, annexed Crimea and Belarus. The unprovoked and unwarranted build-up of Russian military forces, the largest deployment on the European continent since the end of the Cold War, is a challenge to global security and international order.

We call on Russia to choose the path of diplomacy, defuse tensions, substantially withdraw military forces from the vicinity of Ukraine’s borders and fully respect international commitments, including on risk reduction and transparency military activities. As a first step, we expect Russia to implement the announced reduction of its military activities along Ukraine’s borders. We saw no evidence of this reduction. We will judge Russia by its actions.

We have taken note of Russia’s latest announcements that it is willing to engage diplomatically. We underline our commitment to Russia to continue dialogue on issues of common interest, such as European security, risk reduction, transparency, confidence building and arms control. We also reiterate our commitment to finding a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the current crisis, and urge Russia to accept the offer of dialogue through the US-Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue, the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE. We welcome the renewed OSCE dialogue on European security initiated by the Polish Chairmanship-in-Office of the OSCE and express our firm hope that Russia will engage constructively.

Any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States runs counter to the fundamental principles underlying the rules-based international order and the European order of peace and security enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and other subsequent OSCE declarations. While we stand ready to explore diplomatic solutions to address legitimate security concerns, Russia should have no doubt that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences, including financial and on a wide range of sectoral and individual targets that would impose severe and unprecedented costs on the Russian economy. We will take coordinated restrictive measures in the event of such an event.

We reaffirm our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our support for Ukraine’s efforts to strengthen its democracy and institutions, encouraging further progress in reform. We consider it of the utmost importance to help preserve Ukraine’s economic and financial stability and the well-being of its people. Building on our assistance since 2014, we are committed to contributing, in close coordination with the Ukrainian authorities, to supporting the strengthening of Ukraine’s resilience.

We reiterate our unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters. We reaffirm the right of any sovereign state to determine its own future and security arrangements. We commend Ukraine’s posture of restraint in the face of provocations and continued destabilization efforts.

We underline our deep appreciation and our continued support for the efforts of Germany and France within the framework of the Normandy Process to ensure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is the only path towards a lasting political solution to the conflict. in eastern Ukraine. We acknowledge President Zelensky’s public statements emphasizing Ukraine’s strong commitment to the Minsk Agreements and its willingness to contribute constructively to the process. Ukrainian overtures deserve serious consideration by Russian negotiators and by the Government of the Russian Federation. We call on Russia to seize the opportunity presented by Ukraine’s proposals for the diplomatic channel.

Russia must defuse and respect its commitments in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The increase in ceasefire violations along the line of contact in recent days is very worrying. We condemn the use of heavy weapons and the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas, which constitute a flagrant violation of the Minsk agreements. We also condemn the fact that the Russian Federation continues to issue Russian passports to residents of Ukrainian areas not controlled by the government. This clearly goes against the spirit of the Minsk agreements.

We are particularly concerned about the measures taken by the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” which must be seen as preparing the ground for a military escalation. We fear that staged incidents could be used as a pretext for a possible military escalation. Russia must use its leverage over self-declared republics to show restraint and de-escalation.

In this context, we strongly express our support for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, whose monitors play a key role in de-escalation efforts. This mission must be allowed to carry out its mandate without restriction of its activities and its freedom of movement, for the benefit and security of the people of eastern Ukraine.

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