The leaders of the G7 nations (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States) together with the European Union have sent another clear and unambiguous message to Russia regarding events in Ukraine.
The G7 is meeting in Brussels at the invitation of the European Union. The meeting originally planned as a G8 summit together with Russia was scheduled to be held in Sochi, however Russia was suspended from the group following its annexation of Crimea.
In a communique issued yesterday the G7 leaders welcomed the successful conduct under difficult circumstances of the election in Ukraine on 25 May. "The strong voter turnout underlined the determination of Ukraine's citizens to determine the future of their country. We welcome Petro Poroshenko as the President-elect of Ukraine and commend him for reaching out to all the people of Ukraine," the statement said.
The G7 leaders said that "in the face of unacceptable interference in Ukraine's sovereign affairs by the Russian Federation, we stand by the Ukrainian government and people. We call upon the illegal armed groups to disarm. We encourage the Ukrainian authorities to maintain a measured approach in pursuing operations to restore law and order. We fully support the substantial contribution made by the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to the de-escalation of the crisis through the Special Monitoring Mission and other OSCE instruments. We commend the willingness of the Ukrainian authorities to continue the national dialogue in an inclusive manner. We welcome the "Memorandum of Peace and Unity" adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on 20 May and express the wish that it can be implemented rapidly. We also encourage the Ukrainian parliament and the Government of Ukraine to continue to pursue constitutional reform in order to provide a framework for deepening and strengthening democracy and accommodating the rights and aspirations of all people in all regions of Ukraine.
The G7 leaders said that they are committed to continuing to work with Ukraine to support its economic development, sovereignty and territorial integrity and are united in condemning the Russian Federation's continuing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.The statement said:
"Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to de-stabilise eastern Ukraine are unacceptable and must stop. These actions violate fundamental principles of international law and should be a concern for all nations. We urge the Russian Federation to recognise the results of the election, complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine, stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border and to exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence. We call on the Russian Federation to meet the commitments it made in the Geneva Joint Statement and cooperate with the government of Ukraine as it implements its plans for promoting peace, unity and reform."
The president of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker led dignitaries from a number of countries attending the celebrations