The Group of 7 foreign ministers on Monday released a statement calling on Russia to “cease its provocations” on the Ukraine-Russia border.
The foreign ministers — from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the high representative of the European Union — stated that they are “deeply concerned by the large ongoing build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders and in illegally-annexed Crimea.”
The ministers said Russia’s actions represent “destabilizing activities”
“We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations,” the statement read. “In particular, we call on Russia to uphold the OSCE principles and commitments that it has signed up to on transparency of military movements and to respond to the procedure established under Chapter III of the Vienna Document.”
“We underline our strong appreciation and continued support for France’s and Germany’s efforts through the Normandy Process to secure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is the only way forward for a lasting political solution to the conflict,” the ministers continued. “We call on all sides to engage constructively in the Trilateral Contact Group on the OSCE’s proposals to confirm and consolidate the ceasefire.”
Last week the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reported that Russia did not attend talks to bring down the violence at the border as Ukraine has called for.
Reports have indicated that there are more troops in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine than there were during the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBlinken to return to Brussels to discuss Russia, Ukraine tensions Blinken warns it would be a ‘serious mistake’ for Taiwan’s status to be changed ‘by force’ Blinken: China ‘didn’t do what it needed to do’ in early stages of pandemic MORE spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday where they discussed Russia’s growing aggression.
“Secretary Blinken and Secretary General Stoltenberg discussed a range of issues, including the immediate need for Russia to cease its aggressive military buildup along Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea,” the State Department said in a statement.
Blinken is set to join fellow Cabinet member Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinPentagon insists vaccine rollout a success despite spotty data Blinken to return to Brussels to discuss Russia, Ukraine tensions Defense secretary boasts ‘ironclad’ commitment to Israel during trip to Tel Aviv MORE at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium for discussions on Russia as well as Iran and Afghanistan.
It was announced last week that the U.S. would be sending two warships to the Black Sea in response to Russia’s military buildup. The ships will stay in the Black Sea until May 4, according to Turkey’s foreign ministry.