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Russia must stop provocation, de-escalate tensions along Ukraine’s borders: G7 Foreign Ministers’

UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

These large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, represent threatening and destabilizing activities. We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations.

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Paris [France], April 13: The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrialized countries on Monday called on Russia to stop its provocations and de-escalate tensions immediately on the border with Ukraine.

The foreign ministers — from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the High Representative of the European Union — stated that they are “deeply concerned by the large ongoing build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders and in illegally-annexed Crimea,” they said in a statement.

“These large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, represent threatening and destabilizing activities. We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations. In particular, we call on Russia to uphold the OSCE principles and commitments that it has signed up to on transparency of military movements and to respond to the procedure established under Chapter III of the Vienna Document,” it added.

The leaders recalled their last statement of March 18 and reaffirmed unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. G7 supported Ukraine’s posture of restraint.

The Ministers also underlined their strong appreciation and continued support for France’s and Germany’s efforts through the Normandy Process to secure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is the only way forward for a lasting political solution to the conflict.

“We call on all sides to engage constructively in the Trilateral Contact Group on the OSCE’s proposals to confirm and consolidate the ceasefire,” the ministers said further.

Leaders from group 7 reacted after the presence of Russian troops in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. It is being reported that the deployment is more than there were during the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday during which they discussed Russia’s growing aggression. Meanwhile, US is considering sending two warships to the Black Sea against Russia’s military buildup.

Blinken is expected to join Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium for discussions on Russia as well as Iran and Afghanistan peace process.

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