G-7 vows new Russia sanctions if invasion continues

Ukrainian soldiers wage battle with Russian troops in Kharviv, Ukraine, on Feb 25, 2022. PHOTO: NYTIMES

BERLIN (AFP) - Leaders of the Group of Seven (G-7) wealthy nations on Sunday (Feb 27) threatened fresh sanctions against Russia if it continues its invasion of Ukraine and vowed not to recognise Moscow's military gains.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States warned in a joint statement that they would "take further steps" to add to the sanctions already announced if Russia did not cease its operation.

Russian military gains in Ukraine achieved through its ongoing campaign leading to "any change of status" such as the annexation of territory "will not be recognised", G-7 foreign ministers said in a joint statement.

The West has already slapped harsh sanctions on Russia for invading neighbouring Ukraine.

It has excluded some Russian banks from the international bank payments system known as Swift and personally targeted President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The European Union on Sunday announced plans to bar Russian planes from its airspace, after individual member states and Britain had earlier taken similar measures.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014, but the West has refused to recognise the change in territorial status.

Moscow also backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions from 2014 in a conflict that has claimed more than 14,000 lives, according to monitoring groups.

Mr Putin's decision to recognise the breakaway republics as independent states this week sparked international condemnation as an assault on Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The move proved to be a prelude to last Thursday's invasion.

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