G7 voices concern over Ukraine, urges ceasefire

Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany), June 8 (IANS) The Group of Seven (G7) expressed Monday concerns over the recent increase in fighting in Ukraine, urging all sides to fully respect and implement the ceasefire and withdraw heavy weapons.

The heads of state and government of Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, Britain and the US made the remarks in a joint declaration Monday after two days of talks in southern Germany, Xinhua reported.

“We are concerned by the recent increase in fighting along the line of contact; we renew our call to all sides to fully respect and implement the ceasefire and withdraw heavy weapons,” said the declaration.

Leaders of the seven industrialised countries reiterated their full support for efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the framework of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group. They also called on all sides to fully implement the Minsk agreements signed in February 2015.

With respect to Ukraine’s reform efforts, the G7 group urged the Ukrainian leadership to decisively continue the necessary fundamental transformation in line with IMF and EU commitments.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together with international financial institutions and other partners to provide financial and technical support as Ukraine moves forward with its transformation. They also agreed on establishing a Ukraine support group, which aims to advance Ukraine’s economic reform process through coordinated advice and assistance.

“We expect Russia to…use its considerable influence over the separatists to meet their Minsk commitments in full,” said the G7 in its statement, as for Russia’s roll in solving the Ukraine conflict.

The world leaders recalled that the lifting of sanctions against Russia is linked to “complete implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty,” adding that the G7 group stands ready to take further restrictive measures if necessary.

Speaking at a press conference after the summit, US President Barack Obama said there had been some discussions about what steps might be taken against Russia if the situation in Ukraine escalates, pointing out at the same time that the leaders hope the Ukraine conflict could be solved without imposing further sanctions.

 

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