The G7 Foreign Ministers have used their meeting in Liverpool to present a united front opposing Russia’s military buildup along its border with Ukraine as well as Moscow’s belligerent rhetoric towards Kiev. On Sunday, the foreign ministers concluded two days of talks by releasing a statement highlighting the G7 member-states condemnation of Russia’s actions. “We call on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and abide by its international commitments on transparency of military activities. Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response.”
A powerful warning to be certain. However, presenting a united front in word must be reinforced with unity in action for the warning to be credible. This is where the Western powers face a quandary. The latest public warning of severe economic consequences should Russia invade Ukraine comes less than a week after President Biden all but ruled out military force as an option to confront and contain Russia. Biden’s ill-timed (and hopefully ill-advised) words were nothing short of a confirmation that NATO will not deploy a single soldier, tank or warplane to defend Ukraine. Vladimir Putin understands that he has a free hand with regards to Ukraine now. With the threat of a NATO-Russia clash in Ukraine removed from the table all he needs to do is ride out a wave or two of economic blowback and Russia is in the clear. The Western position was undermined days before the Liverpool meetings and the G7 foreign ministers should understand that. Their statement today was little more than presenting a façade of unity as real-world events make it clear Russia is moving closer to military action in the near future.
Author’s Note: Sorry for being absent the past few days. My laptop had to be reset entirely Friday evening and yesterday was spent reloading programs and finding copies of all of my notes, research, etc. I’m back up and running now. 😊