In their first meeting without Russia in 17 years, G7 leaders threatened Moscow with further sanctions if it does not help restore stability in eastern Ukraine.
Meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, the world’s leading industrialised nations also urged Russia to recognise and work with the newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
“As a next concrete step, the G7 has agreed that the European Commission will host a high level coordination donor meeting next month here in Brussels. Our group of like minded members of the international community is also united in sending a resolute message to Russia that it should recognise and fully engage with the Ukrainian authorities, namely with recently elected President of Ukraine Mr. Poroshenko. And that Russia should also take concrete and credible measures to de=escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine. We stand ready to take further action if that’s necessary.” said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Ukraine held a peaceful presidential election last month. However, the situation near the Russian border remains volatile after armed groups attacked Ukrainian government forces and seized state buildings.
The Ukrainian crisis has also placed energy security at the top of the world’s political agenda, as the EU and the US are finding ways to become less dependent on Russian gas.
We have in the European Union, as you know the Commission has just presented a proposal for European energy security strategy, which will be discussed the 27th of this month in the European Council. I hope it will be agreed. I think that if it’s not now, when can we really agree on this very important piece of work” Barroso added.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend the Brussels summit, he will hold bilateral talks with Germany, France and the UK at a D-Day anniversary gathering in France later this week. But no meeting with US President Barack Obama is foreseen.