WEISSENHAUS, GERMANY (REUTERS) – Foreign ministers from the G-7 group of rich nations backed giving more aid and weapons to Ukraine as they met on Friday (May 13) in what Germany called a “powerful sign of unity” to deepen Russia’s global isolation for invading its neighbour.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced a further €500 million (S$700 million) worth of military support that should be approved next week by EU members, and expressed confidence that the bloc will agree an embargo on Russian oil.
British Foreign Minister Liz Truss announced new sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s financial network and inner circle, including his ex-wife and cousins, and also called for ramping up weapons supplies to Ukraine.
The annual meeting running until Saturday brings together top diplomats from Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United States and the EU to a 400-year-old castle estate in the Baltic Sea resort of Weissenhaus.
It follows promises by G-7 leaders last weekend to ban or phase out buying Russian oil.
The event, which the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Moldova attended, also spotlighted food security concerns and fears that the war in Ukraine could spill over into its smaller neighbour Moldova.
Moldova’s foreign minister told Reuters in an interview that some forces in the breakaway region of Transdniestria were bent on sowing instability but that his government wanted to solve the issue through diplomacy.
The G-7 talks will defy Russian attempts to split the world over Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
“Never since the end of the Cold War have we G-7 partners been more profoundly challenged. Never before have we stood more united,” she said on Twitter.
Putin had no intention of stopping the war, Borrell said, adding that the new EU military support would be for heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery and take the bloc’s aid to about €2 billion.
“(It will be) more pressure on Russia with economic sanctions and continuing the international isolation of Russia and countering misinformation,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba challenged the EU to impose the oil embargo, saying Putin would celebrate if the proposal fell through. Ukraine’s neighbour Hungary has opposed the plan, which requires unanimity to pass.