G7 backs more aid and arms to Ukraine to show unity against Russia

  • Ukraine and Moldova attend annual meeting of G7 foreign ministers
  • EU’s Borrell announces additional €500m in military support
  • The war could spread to Moldova

WEISSENHAUS, Germany, May 13 (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from the G7 group of wealthy nations backed giving more aid and arms to Ukraine as they met on Friday in what Germany called it a “powerful sign of unity” to deepen Russia’s global isolation in the event of an invasion. his neighbour.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced additional military support of 500 million euros which is expected to be approved next week by EU members, and said he was confident that the bloc will accept an embargo on Russian oil.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced new sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s financial network and inner circle, including his ex-wife and cousins, and also called for increased arms deliveries to Ukraine. Read more

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The annual meeting which runs until Saturday brings together top diplomats from Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the US and the EU in a castle grounds 400 years old in the seaside resort of Weissenhaus on the Baltic Sea. Read more

This follows pledges by G7 leaders last weekend to ban or phase out the purchase of Russian oil. Read more

The event, which was attended by the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Moldova, also highlighted food security concerns and fears that war in Ukraine could spread to its smaller neighbour, the Moldova.

The Moldovan foreign minister told Reuters in an interview that some forces in the breakaway region of Transnistria were determined to sow instability but that his government wanted to solve the problem through diplomacy. Read more

The G7 talks will challenge Russian attempts to divide the world around Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said.

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

Putin had no intention of stopping the war, Borrell said, adding that new EU military support would be for heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery and would bring the bloc’s aid to around 2 billion. euros.

“(It will be) more pressure on Russia with economic sanctions and the continued international isolation of Russia and the fight against disinformation,” he said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba challenged the EU to impose the oil embargo, saying Putin would be happy if the proposal failed. Hungary, a neighbor of Ukraine, opposed the plan, which requires unanimity to be adopted.

“We are not intervening in their discussion, but this is a critical moment when we will see if the unity of the EU will continue to exist 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 German weekly Der Spiegel.

Germany will host NATO ministers separately this weekend as Sweden and Finland prepare to seek membership in the transatlantic alliance, prompting threats of retaliation from Moscow and objections from the Turkey, member of NATO. Read more

MOLDOVA ALARM

The war in Ukraine has sent world prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizers skyrocketing, with United Nations agencies warning that rising prices will deepen a food crisis in Africa in particular.

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

According to diplomatic sources, the objective was for the seven countries to organize themselves better to find rapid and effective responses to the food crisis. With Russia blockading Ukrainian ports, efforts will likely focus on speeding up product shipments on freight trains to the rest of Europe.

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

“They are limited, but want to play games that stir up tension, provoke, (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 the war closer to our homes. We are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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