Russia will be making a “strategic mistake” if it invades Ukraine, triggering a “strong response” from the West, foreign ministers from the G7 group of wealthy democracies said Saturday as they gathered for talks in Liverpool.
“This weekend the world’s most influential democracies will take a stand against aggressors who seek to undermine liberty and send a clear message that we are a united front,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who was hosting the meeting.
Meeting on the sidelines of the G7, Truss and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken “agreed their support for Ukraine and expressed deep concern about the build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border,” a U.K. spokesperson said. “In addition they said that any incursion by Russia would be a strategic mistake for which there would be serious consequences.”
The G7 minsters were meeting amid mounting concern over Russia’s amassing of around 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine.
U.S. President Joe Biden warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this week that the U.S. and European allies “would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”
Blinken also held a meeting with new German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. They “discussed support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression, and agreed that a strong response was needed should Moscow escalate,” said a readout from State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
On Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “NATO Allies agree that any further aggression against Ukraine will come at a high price [and] have serious political and economic consequences for Russia,” as he met with new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.