G7 ministers seek to present a ‘show of unity’ against Russia | News


The Foreign Minister of the Group of Seven (G7), the industrialized nations gathered in the British city of Liverpool have tried to demonstrate “a show of unity against global aggressors”, with the host, the United Kingdom, expressing the his deep concern over the accumulation of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.

The UK is seeking a dodgy consensus from the club of rich nations in response to what it calls Russia’s “malicious behavior” and tensions with China and Iran.

“We need to defend ourselves against the growing threats of hostile actors,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the opening of the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. “And we must unite firmly to confront the aggressors who seek to limit the limits of freedom and democracy.”

The United States and its NATO allies are concerned that the movement of Russian troops and weapons in the border region with Ukraine could be a prelude to an invasion, and have said they would impose heavy sanctions on Russia’s economy if it does. passes.

Moscow denies planning to attack Ukraine and accuses Kiev of its own allegedly aggressive designs. The Kremlin has said it is alarmed by a Western push to supply high-tech weapons to Ukraine, which it says are being used by Kiev to provoke Moscow.

On Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Russian demands to withdraw his invitation to Ukraine to join the military alliance.

Truss and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed how to deter Russia from “a new aggression against Ukraine” at an individual meeting, the U.S. State Department said. The United Kingdom said the two had warned that a Russian incursion “would be a strategic mistake for which it would have serious consequences”.

British Secretary of State Liz Truss speaks at a working lunch of G7 foreign ministers [Olivier Douliery/Reuters]

Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Liverpool, said that among all the issues and threats that delegates have been discussing include China, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and COVID, but “none has dominated as the issue of Russia “.

“Liz Truss is trying to position itself as a kind of unifier of the free world,” Challands said.

“She said we should deter Russia from taking this course of action (invading Ukraine),” he added.

The State Department announced on Saturday that Europe’s top diplomat, Karen Donfried, will visit both Kiev and Moscow next week “to strengthen the United States’ commitment to sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.” Ukraine “and to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

After meeting with Ukrainian and Russian officials, Donfried will travel to Brussels to speak with NATO allies and the European Union.

‘Fundamental values’

Trying to bring unity among the rich G7’s disparate club of rich nations, Truss said “free democratic nations” must be removed from Russian gas and Russian money to preserve their independence.

He said he wanted to work with other countries “to ensure that free and democratic nations can have an alternative to the supply of Russian gas,” a reference to the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was built to carry gas from Russia to Germany. without overlooking. Ukraine.

Truss met with Germany’s new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, a Green Greens politician who had previously opposed Nord Stream 2, on the sidelines of the meeting.

The UK, which is not particularly dependent on Russian gas, has been critical of the pipeline. But London’s financial district and real estate market are the main centers for Russian money, and UK authorities have long been accused of turning a blind eye to unsecured funds around the world.

Truss insisted that the UK was willing to consider new economic measures to protect its “core values”, saying that “cheap energy or cheap financing” could have “a long-term cost to freedom and democracy “.

The weekend meeting at the Liverpool Wharf Museum is the last major G7 presidency event in the UK for a year. Liverpool diplomats also plan to discuss backlog efforts to vaccinate the world against coronavirus, tensions in the Western Balkans, Afghanistan and North Korea, and China’s muscle flexion in the Indo-Pacific region.

The meeting takes place as negotiators meet in Vienna to try to reactivate the nuclear deal that seeks to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Blinken met with German, French and British diplomats in Liverpool to discuss the next steps on Iran, and the Biden administration’s special envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, also stopped in the city on his way. in Vienna.

Truss also invited Southeast Asian Nations ministers to the Liverpool meeting, although many joined at a distance due to the pandemic.

Truss told his G7 counterparts that democracies must fight “economic coercion” and “win the battle of technology,” both of which are references to Beijing’s growing influence around the world.

The G7 has launched a “Rebuild a Better World” initiative to provide funding to developing nations for major infrastructure projects as an alternative to China’s money, which the West argues is often attached.