G7 leaders vow to support Ukraine for ‘as long as it takes’

EuroActiv Politico News

ELMAU, Germany — Leaders of the G7 advanced economies promised Monday to extend their financial, military and humanitarian support to Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” stressing that the country must be able to safeguard its sovereignty and “choose its own future.”

In a statement released on the second day of a G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, the group expressed its “unwavering commitment to support the government and people of Ukraine in their courageous defence of their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and said that its condemns and “will not recognise Russia’s continued attempts to redraw borders by force.”

The “as long it takes” commitment carries an obvious echo of the remarks by former President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi who said in 2012 that his institution would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro currency, marking a turnaround in the financial crisis. Draghi is today Italy’s prime minister and is attending the event with fellow leaders from the U.S, U.K,, France, Germany, Japan and Canada.

“We are committed to helping Ukraine to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to defend itself, and to choose its own future,” the leaders’ statement said, stressing that “it is up to Ukraine to decide on a future peace settlement, free from external pressure or influence.”

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now entering its fifth month, the G7 countries said they would “continue to coordinate efforts to meet Ukraine’s urgent requirements for military and defence equipment” and “provide Ukraine with the material, training and logistic, intelligence, and economic support to build up its armed forces.” They also vowed to expand cooperation on intelligence and information sharing, but the statement did not give more specifics on what further military or intelligence support would be provided.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, (C) is directed to his spot for the extended family photo of leaders from the G7 | Pool photo by Stefan Rousseau via Getty Images

The G7 countries also said they would tighten sanctions against Russia in the days or weeks to come “to reduce Russia’s revenues, including from gold” and to further restrict Russia’s access to key technologies, particularly when it comes to the Russian armament industry.

The statement went on to accuse Russia of bearing “enormous responsibility for rising threats to global food security” and urged “to cease, without condition, its attacks on agricultural and transport infrastructure” in Ukraine and “enable free passage of agricultural shipping from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

On the subject of humanitarian support, the statement endorsed plans for hosting an international experts conference to draw up a plan and financing for the reconstruction of Ukraine. The G7 also committed to “further facilitate” the integration of Ukrainian refugees into the respective countries’ labor markets and “provide access to adequate social protection and education for as long as necessary.”