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G7 warns Russia against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 14, 2024 11:32 PM 2 min read
The G7 leaders during a summit in Apulia, Italy, on June 13, 2024. (German Chancellor Olaf Scholz/X)
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A situation where Russia would use nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine would be "inadmissible," the Group of Seven (G7) warned in a joint statement on June 14 as the two-day G7 summit in Italy drew to a close.

The G7, comprised of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., as well as the EU, issued the statement amid "Russia’s irresponsible and threatening nuclear rhetoric."

Putin has repeatedly made nuclear threats against Ukraine and the West since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. The threats have failed to materialize, and Russia continues to wage its all-out war without using its nuclear arsenal.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced in May it would practice the usage of tactical nuclear weapons in response to purported and unspecified "provocative statements" from the West.

The G7 noted Russia's "posture of strategic intimidation, including its announced deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus."

Minsk announced on June 10 that Belarus will participate in the second stage of Russian drills simulating the launch of tactical nuclear weapons.

The G7 also highlighted China and other third countries "that materially support Russia's war machine," and said it would continue to sanction entities based in these countries "that facilitate Russia's acquisition of items for its defense industrial base."

"We call on China to cease the transfer of dual-use materials, including weapons components and equipment, that are inputs for Russia’s defense sector," the G7 said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently named China as the "primary contributor" to Russia's military-industrial complex

While the G7 seeks "constructive and stable relations with China," the group also expressed "deep concern" over Beijing's support to Moscow, and called "on China to press Russia to stop its military aggression."

The G7 urged "all countries to observe the Olympic Truce individually and collectively," referring to the Ancient Greek tradition that allowed the safe passage of athletes to and from the Olympics.

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