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

  • Ukraine, Moldova attend G7 annual meeting of foreign ministers
  • EU’s Borrell announces additional €500 million in military aid
  • Concerns that war could spread to Moldova

WEISSENHAUS, Germany, May 13 (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich countries supported giving more aid and weapons to Ukraine during their meeting on Friday in what Germany called a “powerful sign of unity” over Russia’s global isolation for invading deepen its neighbor.

Josep Borrell, head of the European Union’s foreign policy, announced an additional €500 million in military aid to be approved by EU members next week, and expressed confidence that the bloc will embargo on Russian oil will agree.

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 an increase in arms supplies to Ukraine. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

The annual meeting, which runs through Saturday, brings together top diplomats from Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United States and the EU at a 400-year-old castle estate in the Baltic resort of Weissenhaus. read more

It follows promises by G7 leaders last weekend to ban or phase out the buying of Russian oil. read more

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 into its smaller neighbor, Moldova.

Moldova’s foreign minister told Reuters in an interview that some troops in the breakaway region of Transnistria were out to sow instability, but his government wanted to resolve the issue through diplomacy. read more

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

“Since the end of the Cold War, we G7 partners have been challenged more. Never before have we been more united,” she said on Twitter.

Putin had no intention of stopping 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.

“(It will be) more pressure on Russia with economic sanctions and continuing Russia’s international isolation and curbing misinformation,” he said.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke to reporters and challenged the EU to impose the oil embargo. Ukraine’s neighbor Hungary has opposed the plan, which requires unanimity.

“We are not getting involved in their discussion, but it is a critical moment when we will see whether the EU unity will last or if it will be broken,” he said.

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

Germany will receive separate ministers from NATO this weekend, as Sweden and Finland prepare to apply for membership in the transatlantic alliance, with threats of retaliation from Moscow and objections from NATO member Turkey. read more

MOLDAVI ALARM

The war in Ukraine has pushed world prices for grains, cooking oil, fuel and fertilizers, with UN agencies warning that the price hikes will exacerbate a food crisis in Africa, in particular.

Russia’s invasion disrupted shipping in the Black Sea, a major route for grains and other commodities, stifling exports.

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

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

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

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

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

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

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment