G7 leaders on Thursday conducted an emergency meeting to discuss the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ushering in “war to the European continent,” adding that he was “on the wrong side of history.”
Additionally, the G7 leaders put out a joint statement of condemnation, saying, “We condemn President Putin for his consistent refusal to engage in a diplomatic process to address questions pertaining to European security, despite our repeated offers. We stand united with partners, including NATO, the EU and their member states as well as Ukraine and remain determined to do what is necessary to preserve the integrity of the rules-based international order.”
The announcement came after the leaders held a lengthy meeting to deliberate on a unified response to Russia, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The meeting was attended by President Joe Biden, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the UK, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and European Council President Charles Michel.
Additionally, the leaders also said that they were ‘ready to act’ to prevent disruption to global energy supplies in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While the G7 leaders condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more concrete measures against Moscow are expected to be announced by various leaders later in the day.
President Biden is scheduled to give an address on the Ukraine crisis at 12.30pm ET (5.30pm GMT), and has promised to announce a new set of sanctions to starve Russia of the resources it needs to remain a security threat in Europe.
The situation in Ukraine, where tensions had been simmering for weeks, deteriorated rapidly on Thursday morning after Putin announced a “special military operation,” effectively beginning what Ukrainian authorities have described as a “full-scale” invasion of their country.