HomeNewsWorld Leaders Condemn Russia One Year After Ukraine Invasion

World Leaders Condemn Russia One Year After Ukraine Invasion

Political and economic leaders sent a signal that Vladimir Putin can’t count on the world growing weary of defending Ukraine, allowing the Russian president to take over its western neighbor.

World leaders presented a united and determined front against Russia on Friday, using the one-year mark of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to let the Russian leader know they will not waver in their support for Ukraine and will make Russia pay for its actions.

Russia’s heinous attacks over the last 365 days have laid bare the cruelty of the ongoing aggression,” members of the G-7 nations said in a statement after meeting virtually Friday morning with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“We commit to intensifying our diplomatic, financial and military support for Ukraine, to increasing the costs to Russia and those supporting its war effort, and to continuing to counter the negative impacts of the war on the rest of the world, particularly on the most vulnerable people,” said the statement by the G-7, which includes the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The statement was part of a wide and global series of condemnations against Russia on Friday, with political and economic leaders sending a signal that Putin can’t count on the world growing weary of defending Ukraine, allowing the Russian president to take over its western neighbor.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, joined his foreign counterparts in slamming Russia and pledging to stay in the fight.

“If we abandon Ukraine, we abandon the U.N. Charter itself, and the principles and rules that make all countries safer and more secure,” Blinken said at the U.N. “No seizing land by force. No erasing a country’s borders … no wars of aggression.”

Zelenskyy, at a press conference Friday, said Ukraine could win the war this year if allies “remain united like a fist.” He did not reject a diplomatic solution to end the war but said Putin must stop the bombing campaign and withdraw from Ukraine before such talks can occur.

After its virtual meeting Friday, the G-7 announced new sanctions meant to deprive Russia of the financial ability to continue to wage war and to deter third-party actors from supporting Russia. Those third-party actors will face “severe costs” if they circumvent sanctions to help Russia, the group said.

Further, the G-7 nations said, it will take actions to thwart Russia’s efforts to acquire industrial machinery, tools, construction equipment and other technology the pariah nation is using to “rebuild its war machine.” The group also plans to impose more economic sanctions, targeting the energy sector as well as Russian diamond exports.

And Putin and other aggressors will pay – literally and through the international criminal justice system, the G-7 warned. When the war is over – something the G-7 noted could happen immediately, if only Putin would stop the invasion – Russia will have to pay “for the damage it has caused,” the group said. To that end, Russian assets in the G-7 jurisdictions will be “immobilized” to make sure they are used to rebuild and repair the country Putin has devastated through the war.

Putin and others must also face justice in the international legal community, the group said, recommending that a special center for investigating crimes against Ukraine be set up. Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have accused Putin of “crimes against humanity,” detailing the deliberate targeting of civilians, the use of rape as a weapon of war, torture and stealing children from their Ukrainian homes.

The statement came after the Biden administration announced newly released military and economic assistance to Ukraine as well as tighter sanctions against Russia.

The military aid includes several unmanned aerial systems to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses. The economic aid, already approved by Congress, means the start of the release of $9.9 billion for health care, education and emergency services for Ukrainians. It is in addition to a $39 billion commitment from the G-7.

Economic sanctions include increasing tariffs on Russian products, which will make them more expensive, and prohibiting nearly 90 third party entities – including some in China – from purchasing certain U.S. technologies, even if they are sold abroad.

Meanwhile, Poland sent Leopard tanks to Ukraine on Friday, while Germany said it would provide additional Leopard tanks to bolster Ukraine’s ground defense. Sweden, which is in the process of joining NATO, pledged Friday to send Ukraine tanks and other military items.

NATO also issued a statement condemning Putin on the one-year mark of the invasion.

“Russia bears full responsibility for this war, a blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter,” the statement said. “While we have called on Russia to engage constructively in credible negotiations with Ukraine, Russia has not shown any genuine openness to a just and lasting peace.”


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