Britain, France urge allies to keep pressure on Putin



The G7 industrialized nations are “strongly united” in backing Ukraine until its “victory” against Russia, France said on Friday, as Britain urged more weapons for Kyiv to keep up the pressure against Vladimir Putin.

“It is very important at this time that we keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin by supplying more weapons to Ukraine, by increasing the sanctions,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as she arrived for a second day of talks with her Group of Seven counterparts.

“G7 unity has been vital during this crisis,” she added.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the G7 countries were “very strongly united” in their will to “continue in the long term to support Ukraine’s fight for its sovereignty until Ukraine’s victory.”

The foreign ministers are meeting over three days in the resort of Wangels in Germany, which currently holds the presidency of the group.

The war in Ukraine is set to be the main topic on the agenda, with Ukrainian and Moldovan foreign ministers Dmytro Kuleba and Nicu Popescu also on the guest list. Le Drian also pointed to the global effects of what he called a “lasting conflict… particularly in the area of food security.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had also on Thursday highlighted the growing impact of the war on poorer countries. “We as the strongest industrialized democracies have a special responsibility” to help poorer nations weather the food and energy squeezes caused by the war, the minister said. Meanwhile, Swedish membership in NATO would have a stabilizing effect and would benefit countries around the Baltic sea, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Friday, the day after neighbour Finland committed to applying to join the 30-nation alliance. “Swedish NATO membership would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a conflict-preventing effect in northern Europe,” Linde told reporters when presenting a parliament report on security. Sweden is widely expected to follow Finland’s lead and Stockholm could apply for NATO membership as early as Monday.– Agencies


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