Interfax-Ukraine

News about recent political developments in Ukraine, key Ukrainian economic news and major current events in the CIS and the rest of the world.

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G7 urges Russia to choose diplomatic path, reduce tensions, withdraw armed forces from Ukraine's borders.

The 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 issued a statement in which they urged Russia to choose the path of diplomacy to reduce the escalation and to fulfill their obligations according to the Minsk Agreements.

"We call on Russia to choose the path of diplomacy, to de-escalate tensions, to substantively withdraw military forces from the proximity of Ukraine's borders and to fully abide by international commitments including on risk reduction and transparency of military activities. As a first step, we expect Russia to implement the announced reduction of its military activities along Ukraine's borders. We have seen no evidence of this reduction. We will judge Russia by its deeds," a statement published on Sunday night Kyiv time reads.

The statement also says that "Russia should be in no doubt that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences, including financial and economic sanctions on a wide array of sectoral and individual targets that would impose severe and unprecedented costs on the Russian economy. We will take coordinated restrictive measures in case of such an event."

The ministers expressed support to Ukraine, in particular "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 continued provocations and efforts at destabilization."

"We underline our strong appreciation and continued support for Germany's and France's efforts through the Normandy Process to secure the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which is the only way forward for a lasting political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We acknowledge public statements by President Zelensky underlining Ukraine's firm commitment to the Minsk Agreements and his readiness to contribute constructively to the process," the message reads.

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