G7 countries demanded Russia end its “illegal war of aggression” and said they will never recognize altered borders stemming from Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, according to a joint statement issued Saturday.
Why it matters: While Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed at the onset of the invasion that Moscow didn’t intend to occupy Ukraine, Kremlin-installed occupation authorities in certain regions have started taking steps to be illegally recognized as part of Russia.
What they’re saying: “We reiterate our demand that Russia put an end to the war it started unprovoked and to end the tragic suffering and loss of life it continues to cause,” the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the High Representative of the European Union said in a joint statement.
- “We also continue to call on Belarus to stop enabling Russia’s aggression and to abide by its international obligations,” they added.
- “We will never recognize borders Russia has attempted to change by military aggression, and will uphold our engagement in the support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea, and all states.”
State of play: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly said his country will not seek to end the war by compromising its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Russia was suspended from the G8 in 2014 after illegally annexing Crimea from Ukraine. The military conquest has not been recognized by the G7 and many other countries and international organizations.
The big picture: Occupation authorities appointed by the Kremlin in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region are planning to directly appeal for Putin to recognize the region as part of Russia, Tass reported Wednesday.
- Putin claimed that the so-called “special military operation” was to protect two breakaway separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and not to occupy parts of the country.
- Its invasion of northern Ukraine, which was rebuffed in March, indicated that Russia has much larger goals for its invasion, namely decapitating Ukraine’s government and installing new pro-Russian leadership.
- The deputy commander of Russia’s central military district said in April that the Kremlin seeks to achieve full control of southern Ukraine and the country’s Donbas region.