World powers stated on Tuesday following discussions on Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelensky that they will hold Russian leader Vladimir Putin accountable for recent massive aircraft assaults on towns including Kyiv.
“We condemn these assaults in the strongest possible terms and remember that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime,” the G7 said in a statement following a video conference. “We will bring President Putin and those responsible to account.”
In a week of notable escalation in the conflict, the leaders claimed that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s declared decision to deploy combined troops with Russia represented a fresh instance of “complicity” with Moscow, ordering Minsk to “stop enabling” Putin’s invasion. They encouraged the “Lukashenko government to fully adhere by its commitments under international law”.
The group of affluent democracies claimed it had “reassured” Zelensky that they were “undeterred and unwavering in our commitment to give the assistance Ukraine needs to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
They guaranteed continuing “financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support” and committed to “stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes”.
“We are dedicated to assisting Ukraine in addressing its winter readiness needs,” they stated. The G7 leaders extended strong support to Zelensky to outline Ukraine’s parameters for any prospective peace negotiations with Russia.
“No nation wants peace more than Ukraine, whose people have experienced murder, displacement and innumerable crimes as the consequence of Russian aggression,” they stated.
Expressing “solidarity” with Ukraine, the leaders said they appreciated Zelensky’s “readiness for a decent peace”.
This would entail honouring the UN Charter’s preservation of territorial integrity and sovereignty and ensuring Ukraine’s “ability to defend itself in the future”.
Furthermore, any deal would have to secure “Ukraine’s rehabilitation and rebuilding, including exploring options to do so with finances from Russia” and seek “accountability for Russian atrocities committed during the war”.
Nato cautioned Moscow on Tuesday it would face assaults on allies’ vital infrastructure with a “united and decisive response” and was watching Russia’s nuclear capabilities carefully while the nation was “losing on the battlefield” in Ukraine.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of a two-day meeting of the Western alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels that it had not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture, but was “vigilant”.
Stoltenberg denounced Russia’s missile assaults on people in Ukraine on Monday as a demonstration of weakness. “Russia is genuinely losing on the battlefield,” he told a press conference, claiming it was reacting with “indiscriminate attacks” to Ukrainian gains. That perspective was mirrored by US ambassador to Nato Julianne Smith.
“President Putin is failing to accomplish his strategic goals on the ground and this has been a repeating issue for him personally since this conflict started,” she told an online briefing