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They view Russia as a party to the conflict in eastern Ukraine rather than as a mediator.The G7 leaders were meeting at Cornwall’s Carbis Bay, Britain, on June 11-13 / REUTERS
The leaders of the Group of Seven (the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan) have called on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s eastern border and on the Crimean peninsula.
This was announced in their Carbis Bay G7 summit communiqué following a meeting in Cornwall on June 11-13, 2021.
“We reiterate our support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. We call on Russia to alleviate tensions and act in accordance with its international obligations, and to withdraw the Russian military troops and materiel at the eastern border of Ukraine and on the Crimean peninsula,” they said in the communiqué.
“We remain firmly of the view that Russia is a party to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, not a mediator. We affirm our support for the Normandy Process to secure the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and call on Russia and the armed formations it backs to engage constructively and recommit to the ceasefire,” the communiqué said.
What is more, the G7 leaders reaffirmed their efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and institutions, encouraging further progress on reform.
Russian build-up along Ukraine borders, in occupied Crimea
- In March 2021, Russia deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparations for military drills.
- Fifteen warships of Russia’s Caspian Flotilla entered the Black Sea. Russia also relocated Su-25SM3 warplanes from Russia’s Stavropol Krai (Territory) to occupied Crimea.
- On April 22, 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country would begin the withdrawal of troops, which had taken part in military exercises in occupied Crimea and near the borders of Ukraine, to their permanent bases in the Southern and Western Military Districts.
- On May 6, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian Federation had withdrawn only 3,500 troops from occupied Crimea out of tens of thousands of military personnel deployed on the borders and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
- On May 13, 2021, the U.S. Mission to the OSCE said Russia had deployed a variety of heavy weaponry to occupied Crimea, including T-72B3 battle tanks, 120mm mortars, 122mm howitzers, and armored vehicles.
- On May 19, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Ruslan Khomchak said that Zapad 2021 (“West 2021”) drills to be conducted by Russia jointly with Belarus in September 2021 pose a potential threat to Ukraine.