The world’s richest Democrats, members of the G7, tried on Saturday to present a united front against Russian aggression against Ukraine, while the United Kingdom hosted a meeting of Foreign Ministers in the city of Liverpool, writes Reuters.
The G7 meeting, which was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts from France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Canada, comes amid international concern that Russia could invade Ukraine.
Russia denies planning an attack.
British Foreign Minister Liz Truss met with Blinken on Friday night, and the two expressed deep concern over the deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, the London Foreign Office said in a statement.
Any Russian incursion “would be a strategic mistake for which there would be serious consequences,” the statement said.
“We must defend ourselves against growing threats from hostile actors and we must unite firmly to deal with aggressors who are trying to limit the limits of freedom and democracy. To do this, we need to have a stronger united voice, “Truss told foreign ministers at the start of the meeting, according to News.ro.
Ukraine is at the center of a crisis in East-West relations, accusing Russia of accumulating tens of thousands of troops in preparation for a possible large-scale military offensive.
Russia accuses Ukraine and the United States of destabilizing behavior and says it needs security guarantees for its own protection.
Washington is sending its highest-ranking diplomat to Europe, Deputy Secretary Karen Donfried, to Ukraine and Russia on December 13-15 to meet with senior government officials.
“Deputy Secretary Donfried will emphasize that we can make diplomatic progress in ending the Donbas conflict by implementing the Minsk agreements in support of the Normandy format,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The G7 meeting “is about a demonstration of unity between the major economies that have similar views, that we will be absolutely firm in our position against aggression, against aggression against Ukraine,” Truss told reporters before the talks.
Britain, as the current G7 president, is calling on its members to be more vocal in defending what they call the “free world”.
Earlier this week, Truss said the “era of introspection” was over for the West and that it needed to wake up to the dangers of rival ideologies.
She highlighted as examples the economic risks of Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas and the wider security threat posed by Chinese technology.
The G7 meeting is also expected to result in a joint call on Iran to moderate its nuclear program and seize the opportunity of ongoing talks in Vienna to relaunch a multilateral agreement on its nuclear development.
Both Truss and Blinken stressed the need for Iran to engage in talks, according to the Foreign Office.
Germany, which takes over the rotating leadership of the G7 from the UK next year, is expected to set its agenda for 2022 at the meeting.
Ministers from the European Union, Australia, South Korea and India will attend some sessions as G7 guests, along with representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.