1676754131 War in Ukraine G 7 warning to Russia supporters

War in Ukraine: G 7 warning to Russia supporters

Affected countries were asked to end their support for the Russian army and its allied troops, otherwise they would face “heavy costs”. The G-7 statement also called on Russia to “immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and equipment from Ukraine” and “respect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders”.

The G-7 condemned ongoing Russian attacks against Ukrainian civilians and vital infrastructure. War crimes and other atrocities must not go unpunished, and all those responsible, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership, must be held accountable. After about a year of war, the G-7 states have made their “unwavering solidarity” in this context unquestionable.

“Unacceptable nuclear rhetoric”

The G-7 countries also reiterated their criticism of the Kremlin’s nuclear threats. “Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable and any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or similar agents would have severe consequences,” said Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa, who chaired the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting.

Earlier in Munich, US Vice President Kamala Harris and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke clearly about Russia and China. President Joe Biden has made it very clear to Chinese President Xi Jinping that “any sin” in this regard will be considered a “very serious matter,” Blinken said. “It’s something we’re watching closely.”

“barbarian” crimes

In her speech, US Vice President Harris accused Russia of “barbaric” crimes and threatened consequences. The US vice president also issued a warning to China. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for a tougher course against Moscow.

The Russian army is responsible for serious human rights violations in Ukraine, including murder, rape and kidnapping of Ukrainian children to Russia. “This is barbaric and inhumane,” Harris said in his speech shortly after noon on Saturday. “Russia has committed crimes against humanity.”

Harris accuses Russia of “barbaric” crimes

For the second consecutive day, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) focused on the war in Ukraine. In her speech, US Vice President Kamala Harris accused Russia of “barbaric” crimes and threatened consequences. She also sent a warning to China.

China’s aid would ‘reward aggression’

Harris also warned China not to help Russia militarily. With that, the People’s Republic would only support aggression. Any move by China in that direction “would reward aggression, continue the killing and further undermine a rules-based order,” she told the MSC on Saturday.

Relations between Moscow and Beijing have strengthened since the Russian attack. If Russia succeeds in its war in Ukraine, other authoritarian countries around the world could be emboldened, Harris added.

Sunak asks for a more precise course

British Prime Minister Sunak called for tougher action by the international community against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Responses so far “are not strong enough,” he said on Saturday ahead of the MSC plenary.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Munich

Portal/Ben Stanstall Sunak not tough enough on Russia in context of war in Ukraine

London will support countries that can immediately supply fighter jets to Ukraine. He dodged questions about whether London also wanted fighter jets available.

Promised ranged weapons

The war in Ukraine is currently at a “tipping point”. Now “the time has come to double our military support”. Britain will be “the first country to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons”. Sunak did not provide details.

In her speech on Saturday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen advocated purchase guarantees for the arms industry in order to provide Ukraine with better and faster weapons and ammunition. “Now we must do what we did during the pandemic,” she said, referring to contracts with pharmaceutical companies to accelerate production of CoV vaccines. Purchase guarantees can now give the defense industry the opportunity to invest more quickly in production lines and increase supply volumes.

China announces peace initiative

China, led by US Vice President Harris, had already announced its own peace initiative for Ukraine. “We are going to come up with something. Namely, the Chinese position on the political solution of the crisis in Ukraine,” Beijing’s top foreign policy chief, Wang Yi, told the conference in Munich on Saturday, according to the official translation. The People’s Republic will be “on the side of peace and dialogue”.

China's top foreign policy leader Wang Yi in Munich

AP/Petr David Josek Beijing wants to be “on the side of peace and dialogue”.

French call for EU rearmament

Earlier on Friday, the first day of the conference, French President Emmanuel Macron offered EU partners talks on nuclear deterrence in the EU. It could be about the European dimension of France’s nuclear deterrence, he explained at the security conference. The current Russian aggression against Ukraine is a reminder of the important role that nuclear weapons play and must continue to play in the Union.

French President Emmanuel Macron

Portal/Wolfgang Rattay Macron renewed his nuclear deterrence offer to Europe

Macron recalled that he had already made the offer in early 2020. At the time, however, European partners such as Germany reacted with caution. Since Britain left on January 31, 2020, France is the only remaining nuclear power in the EU. Macron has long demanded that Europe become more independent of the US superpower.

Scholz again campaigned for tank deliveries

In his speech in Munich on Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed that he was “intensively” promoting “that everyone who can supply such war tanks actually does so”. At the end of January, Berlin set the target of supplying Ukraine with up to 31 main battle tanks. 14 of them are said to come from Bundeswehr stockpiles, for the remaining tanks Berlin is expecting commitments from allies.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

AP/Michael Probst Scholz once again spoke out in favor of delivering tanks to Ukraine

Scholz again emphasized that each new step in arms aid must be agreed with the partners. The German chancellor defended the supply of tanks to Ukraine against his own country’s concerns. It was not “our arms deliveries” that prolonged the war. The sooner Putin realizes “that he will not achieve his imperialist goal, the greater the chance that the war will end soon and Russian troops will withdraw.”

Battle against “Goliath”

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his video speech that he expected the war to end in 2023: “Goliath has already started to lose. Goliath will definitely fall this year,” the president said.

He compared his country to the biblical David who had to defend himself against a Russian Goliath. There is “no alternative to our victory”, said Zelensky, who urged the West to speed up the delivery of weapons and support to his country.

“Ammunition, Artillery, Tanks”

If Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has his way, Ukraine needs “ammunition, artillery, tanks”. That’s what Kuleba said in Munich in a panel discussion with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock and US Foreign Office head Antony Blinken. Baerbock repeated his request to the allies to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Blinken said on the issue of ammunition, every corner of the world is being studied with this in mind.

Kyiv also wants controversial ammunition

On the MSC on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Olexander Kubrakov also called for cluster and phosphorus munitions for Kiev – the use of both weapons is, however, very controversial. Like Russia, your country also wants to use this “type of weaponry”.

“It’s our territory,” said Kubrakov. He understands the difficulty because of conventions, but this type of ammo can help resist attackers. Cluster munitions are munitions that explode in the air over the target, releasing many small explosive devices. Phosphorous ammunition can cause severe burns and poisoning in humans.

Pfeifer (ORF) on new Ukrainian demands

Representatives from Ukraine recently also demanded the delivery of cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs – will this taboo also be broken after the delivery of main battle tanks? ZIB foreign expert Andreas Pfeifer reports from the Munich Security Conference.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg immediately rejected Ukraine’s request. “NATO has not recommended or supplied these types of weapons. We supply artillery and other types of weapons, but not cluster bombs.”

Schallenberg: “We raised an unbelievable sum”

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler (both ÖVP) do not see Austria under pressure with its adherence to military neutrality in the Ukraine war. “I never received any requests to hand over weapons,” Schallenberg said on the sidelines of the security conference. “It is recognized that we are doing an incredible amount in other areas,” added Edtstadler, referring to humanitarian aid.


A Year of War in Ukraine: What Stops Putin?

In this regard, the Minister of Europe reported on his recent visit to Kiev, during which a fire brigade was mobilized after a Russian rocket attack. “The firefighter was wearing protective gear from Graz.” Schallenberg pointed out that Austria, as measured by its economic output, was number one in terms of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. In the conflict, Austria was also “sharpened to the limit of what is possible under neutrality law”.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP.) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi

APA/Bmeia/Michael Gruber Wang met Schallenberg on the shore of the MSC

Meanwhile, Schallenberg views the Chinese peace initiative with skepticism. In that sense, there is a “squaring the circle” between support for Russia and the Chinese position on the Taiwan issue, Schallenberg explained after a meeting with Beijing’s top foreign policy leader, Wang Yi. “It remains to be seen what they invented. A certain amount of skepticism is appropriate,” said Schallenberg.

Russia is no longer invited after cancellation

More than 150 high-ranking government representatives attend this year’s meeting in Munich. Russian government officials are absent for the second consecutive year. After the Kremlin declined all invitations to the meeting last year, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, this time Moscow did not receive the invitation.

The Munich Security Conference has been held since 1963. In addition to public discussions and speeches, it is known for its “backroom meetings” at the Bayerischer Hof, where politicians can exchange ideas in unofficial conversations.

Several thousand people protested the conference at several rallies in central Munich on Saturday. On the part of the security forces, around 4,500 Bavarian police and 300 members of the federal police were on the MSC until Sunday.