The G7 wants to continue providing military support to Ukraine for years to come

summit meeting
G7 countries want to continue militarily supporting Ukraine – but they can’t make a wish come true

G7 members would also supply arms to Ukraine for years

From left to right: Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, Italian Foreign Minister and Elizabeth Truss, British Minister Foreign Affairs

© Kay Nietfeld / Picture Alliance

Participants at the G7 summit in Weißenhäuser Strand pledge further support for Ukraine. But they cannot address one of kyiv’s main concerns.

If necessary, Germany and the other G7 countries want to continue supplying the Ukrainian armed forces with weapons and other military equipment for the fight against the Russian attackers for years to come. “We will continue our military and defense assistance to Ukraine for as long as necessary,” said a statement adopted by the foreign ministers of the Group of Major Democratic Industrialized Nations (G7).

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) also stressed on Saturday the political support of the G7 states following the consultations near Weißenhäuser Strand on the Baltic Sea in Schleswig-Holstein. “We will never recognize the border changes that Russia wants to impose by military force,” she said. The G7 countries have a key role to play in “preventing the global effects of this war from plunging the world into an uncontrollable crisis”.

In addition to the Federal Republic, the group includes the NATO states, the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain and Italy as well as Japan. Germany currently chairs the G7 group.

No fighter jet engagement

However, the Ukrainian demand for the delivery of Western combat aircraft remains unmet. Questions about further deliveries would first have to be clarified together “in great detail”, Baerbock said, citing great responsibility “in this absolutely difficult situation”.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) recently indicated that supplying Ukraine with ever heavier weapons could lead to an escalation of war and eventually nuclear war with Russia. According to him, Germany “always carefully weighs the delivery of heavy equipment”, but at the same time does not simply do everything that one or the other asks.

Transmitting Russian funds is legally difficult

Baerbock also gave Ukraine no hope of a quick transfer of frozen Russian state funds. “Access to frozen money is legally…anything but easy,” she explained. There are a number of good reasons for going down this path – but sanctions and such a measure in particular must also stand up to German law and the European Court of Justice.

At the meeting in Schleswig-Holstein, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Germany and other G7 countries to pass laws to confiscate Russian state property and make it available of Ukraine for the reconstruction of the country. “We are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in Europe,” he said.

In addition to legal difficulties, political risks are also perceived in Europe. There are fears that countries like Russia and China will set up an alternative international financial system in response to the expropriations.

The Ukrainian War as a Global Crisis

At the end of the meeting, Baerbock underlined the particular responsibility of the G7 countries. As the strongest industrial nations among democracies, they have the opportunity and the means to fight against hunger, instability, energy insecurity and the progressive erosion of democratic values ​​and human rights through disinformation.

“How we act now, or how we don’t, will shape our interactions in the world for many years and perhaps even decades,” Baerbock said. But you must be prepared for the fact that the fight against the current global crisis will be a long distance race.

Ideas against the Russian grain blockade

With the blockade of grain deliveries from Ukraine, for example, Moscow is preparing “the fertile ground for new crises in order to deliberately weaken international cohesion in the face of Russia’s war”, the minister said. Up to 50 million people, mainly in Africa and the Middle East, are also affected by food insecurity.

The Russian strategy is accompanied by a “massive disinformation campaign that attempts to subvert perpetrators and victims with absurd claims”. Baerbock stressed: “There are no sanctions against grain, there are no sanctions against medicine or humanitarian aid.” Western sanctions target “the center of power of the Russian regime so that this war, which is contrary to international law, can be stopped”.

Referring to blocked Ukrainian ports, Baerbock said alternatives to shipping grain from Ukraine are currently being explored to break the Russian blockade in the region. After problems with rail transport via Romania, they are examining exports via the Baltic ports. However, the prerequisites should first be clarified as to how the ports could be reached.

Normally, five to six million tonnes of grain per month could be shipped from Ukraine by sea, Baerbock said. With rail delivery, you obviously get a lot less grain. So far, a fraction has been exported by rail, mainly via Romania. The “bottleneck” is that Ukraine and Romania have different track widths on the railways. A lot of time is thus wasted. 25 million tons of grain were stored in Ukrainian ports.

cl / Ansgar Haase / Jörg Blank

Leave a Comment