G7 backs more aid, arms to Ukraine as a show of unity against Russia

G7 backs more aid, arms to Ukraine as a show of unity against Russia

  • Ukraine and Moldova take part in the annual meeting of G7 foreign ministers
  • The EU’s Borrell announces a further 500 million euros in military support
  • Fears that war could spread to Moldova

WEISSENHAUS, Germany, May 13 (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations backed the delivery of more aid and arms to Ukraine when they met on Friday in what Germany called a “powerful sign of unity”. to deepen Russia’s global isolation for an invasion of its neighbor.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced another €500 million worth of military assistance, which should be approved by EU members next week, and expressed confidence that the bloc will agree to an embargo on Russian oil .

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced new sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s financial network and inner circle, including his ex-wife and cousins, and also called for increased arms sales to Ukraine. Continue reading

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The annual meeting, which runs until Saturday, brings together top diplomats from Great Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United States and the EU at a 400-year-old manor house in the Baltic Sea resort of Weißenhaus. Continue reading

It follows promises made by G7 leaders last weekend to ban or phase out purchases of Russian oil. Continue reading

The event, attended by the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Moldova, also highlighted food security concerns and fears that the war in Ukraine could spill over to smaller neighbor Moldova.

Moldova’s foreign minister told Reuters in an interview that some forces in the breakaway region of Transnistria are intent on sowing instability, but that his government wants to solve the problem through diplomacy. Continue reading

The G7 talks will defy Russian attempts to divide the world over Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.

“We G7 partners have never been challenged so severely since the end of the Cold War. We’ve never stood so united,” she said on Twitter.

Putin has no intention of ending the war, Borrell said, adding that the EU’s new military support would be for heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery and would bring the bloc’s aid to around €2 billion.

“[There will be]more pressure on Russia with economic sanctions and continuing to isolate Russia internationally and fight misinformation,” he said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the EU to impose the oil embargo and said Putin will celebrate if the proposal falls through. Ukraine’s neighbor Hungary has spoken out against the plan, which requires unanimity to pass.

“We do not interfere in their discussion, but it is a critical moment when we will see whether the unity of the EU will remain or whether it will be broken,” he said.

Kuleba called on allies to seize Russian assets to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction, a proposal backed by Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner in an interview published by German weekly Der Spiegel on Friday.

Germany is set to receive NATO ministers separately this weekend while Sweden and Finland prepare to apply for membership of the transatlantic alliance, met with threats of retaliation from Moscow and objections from NATO member Turkey. Continue reading

MOLDOVA ALERT

The war in Ukraine has pushed up global prices for grain, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizers, with UN agencies warning that the price hikes will exacerbate a food crisis, particularly in Africa.

Russia’s invasion has disrupted shipping in the Black Sea, an important route for grain and other commodities, and choked off exports.

Diplomatic sources said the goal is for the seven countries to organize better to find quick and efficient responses to the food crisis. With Russia blocking Ukrainian ports, efforts will likely focus on speeding up the movement of products on freight trains to the rest of Europe.

Moldova is struggling to cope with the influx of refugees from Ukraine, and incidents involving pro-Russian separatists in Transnistria have raised alarm.

“They are limited but want to play games that stoke tensions, provoke the people of Transnistria, make them hysterical and make the people of Moldova nervous,” said Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu.

“There are internal forces that want to destabilize this region and bring the war closer to home. We are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

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Reporting by John Irish and Alexander Ratz; Additional reporting by William James in London; writing by John Irish and Matthias Williams; Edited by John Stonestreet, Raissa Kasolowsky and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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