G7 summit: UK warns Russia against Ukraine invasion
Moscow, Dec 11: UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss welcomed the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers to Liverpool on Saturday, and urged Russia to refrain from attacking Ukraine. She also called on “free democratic nations" to wean themselves off of Russian gas.
Truss said the G7 meeting would be a “show of unity between like-minded major economies that we are going to absolutely be strong in our stance against aggression with respect to Ukraine."
This comes as Russia has reportedly engaged in significant troop build-up near its border with Ukraine.
What did Truss say?
Truss said that an invasion of Ukraine would be “a strategic mistake" with “severe consequences" for Moscow. The US and other NATO states have previously said that they will impose strict sanctions on Russia if they were to launch an invasion.
Truss said she wanted to work to “make sure that free democratic nations are able to have an alternative to Russian gas supplies." This follows US concerns around the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.
“There have been decisions made by the free world … in the short term to obtain cheap energy or cheap financing, and that has a long-term cost for freedom and democracy," she added. “And we can"t make that mistake again."
What is the G7 summit?
The G7 is a meeting of top diplomats from the UK, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will join the summit for the first time on Sunday. South Korea, Australia, South Africa and India will also participate as “guests" chosen by the UK.
The inclusion of Asian countries is part of the UK"s “Indo-Pacific tilt" after it left the European Union last year.
Besides Russia, topics to be discussed at the G7 summit include Covid vaccines, climate change, tensions in the Western Balkans, Afghanistan and North Korea.
sdi/wd (AP, AFP)