G7 ministers seek to boost unity on Ukraine, China, Iran

Nov 2, 2022, 5:17 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2022, 10:36 am
United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbo...

United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken attends a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken attends a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken attends a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockat meet at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken arrives at the Hotel Atlantic for a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken arrives at the Hotel Atlantic for a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and Japan's Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, left, talk during a G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP, Pool)
            
              U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock ahead of a G-7 foreign ministers meeting, in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, not pictured, ahead of a G-7 foreign ministers meeting, in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Wolfgang Rattay/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, talks to US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken,  left, during a G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              United States secretary of state Antony Blinken, right, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrive for a discussion at a Futures Forum prior the G7 Foreign Ministers's Meeting in Muenster, Germany, Thursday, Nov.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

MUENSTER, Germany (AP) — Top diplomats from the world’s major industrialized democracies sought Thursday to expand unified positions on Russia’s war in Ukraine, China’s growing global economic clout and Iran’s crackdown on anti-government protestors.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations began two days of talks in the historic western German city of Muenster to take stock of the war in Ukraine and keep up economic, military and other support for the country more than eight months after Russia’s invasion and as winter approaches.

The significance of the venue — the same room in which the Treaty of Westphalia ending Europe’s bloody 30 Years War was signed in 1648 — was not lost on the participants, some of whom commented on the relevance of the principles it enshrined in international diplomacy.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made reference to the 374-year-old document at an event with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, saying Russia’s actions in Ukraine are a direct attack on the concepts of national sovereignty and territorial integrity that many believe the treaty established.

“These are the very principles that are being challenged today by Russia,” Blinken said. “If we let that be challenged with impunity, then the foundations of the international order will start to erode and eventually crumble, and none of us can afford to let that happen.”

Baerbock opened G-7 meeting at Muenster City Hall by saying the values hashed out in 1648 were the same as those under threat today: “peace and the rule of law.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “actions are plunging the world’s poorest further into despair, putting global food security on the brink and pushing up energy prices,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said. “These actions only serve to demonstrate Putin’s true intentions and further unite the international community against his callous plans.”

“We won’t accept that the Russian president succeeds with his strategy of … breaking Ukraine,” Baerbock said.

The meeting in Muenster comes nearly a year after the same G-7 nations — the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — banded together to warn Russia of “massive consequences” if it went ahead with plans to invade Ukraine.

Putin denied having such plans, and some nations saw the West’s repeated alerts of a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine as exaggerated at the time.

Since delivering the initial warning to Moscow — two months before Russia’s invasion was launched in late February — the G-7 has largely followed through with their vow to punish Russia, although sanctions have done little to deter the Kremlin amid soaring energy prices.

Russia has instead escalated its attacks on civilians and infrastructure, sent in more troops, illegally annexed four regions in Ukraine and shown no interest in a diplomatic solution. A senior U.S. official traveling with Blinken said Putin had “doubled down” and, in some cases, “tripled down” on his position.

Although a potential world food crisis was averted Wednesday when Russia agreed to rejoin a wartime agreement that allowed Ukrainian grain exports to global markets, other emergencies loom.

Those include the war’s impact on energy supplies, Russia’s unfounded claims that Ukraine is preparing to use a radioactive “dirty bomb” and suggestions that Moscow might respond with nuclear weapons. The U.N. nuclear watchdog reported Thursday that inspections of sites in Ukraine had found no evidence to support Russia’s claim that Ukraine planned to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb.”

Meanwhile, the European Union is considering moving forward with price caps on Russian energy imports aimed at further stifling Russia’s income.

The G-7 ministers were also to discuss other issues, including joint approaches to China, which has sided with Russia over Ukraine while also seeking to boost investments in critical and sensitive infrastructure in the West, and Iran, which in addition to conducting a brutal crackdown on protesters is accused of supplying Russia with armed drones and possibly other weapons for use in Ukraine.

Baerbock, the host, said she wanted the group to look in particular at supporting women’s rights in Iran, where the protests erupted over the death of a women accused of violating the compulsory wearing of a headscarf.

On China, U.S. officials said the G-7 would be looking to further harmonize their policies related to Chinese investment in their countries as well to caution against antagonistic moves that Beijing might take against Taiwan.

Beijing “is not just a partner on international questions but also a competitor and, much more strongly, a rival, in view of its understanding of the international order,” Baerbock said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting Beijing this week, becoming the first European leader to make the trip since the war in Ukraine began. Chinese investment in a major port project in Germany has raised concerns in Washington and other capitals that China might gain a controlling interest in critical infrastructure in the heart of an allied country.

U.S. officials said they were pleased the Hamburg port contract was amended to reduce China’s stake to a minority position but said it was important that all nations look carefully at proposed Chinese investments and the potential security threats they might bring.

Scholz has pledged to use his trip to make the case for Chinese moderation and assistance in calming the situations with Ukraine and Taiwan.

The G-7 has weathered major changes since the foreign ministers issued their stark pre-war ultimatum to the Kremlin last December. Britain is on its third prime minister, there’s a new far-right-led government in Italy, relations between Germany and France have frayed and control of the U.S. Congress may be about to shift with next week’s midterm election.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE- Russia's Sudzha gas pumping station is seen, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. Russian energy giant Gazp...
Associated Press

Russian energy giant says no further gas cuts to Moldova

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Russian energy giant Gazprom announced Monday that it will not further reduce natural gas to Moldova as it had threatened to do after claiming that bills went unpaid and that flows crossing through Ukraine were not making it to Moldova. Gazprom tweeted that Moldovagaz has “eliminated the violation of payment” for […]
1 day ago
Mauna Loa is seen from the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area off Saddle Road on the Big Island of Hawa...
Associated Press

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa starts to erupt, sending ash nearby

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has started to erupt, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday. The eruption began late Sunday night in the summit caldera of the volcano on the Big Island, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Early Monday, it said lava flows were […]
1 day ago
FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sho...
Associated Press

WHO renames monkeypox as mpox, citing racism concerns

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization has renamed monkeypox as mpox, citing concerns the original name of the decades-old animal disease could be construed as discriminatory and racist. The U.N. health agency said in a statement Monday that mpox was its new preferred name for monkeypox, saying that both monkeypox and mpox would be […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Kimberly Palmer: Holiday survival tips from 5 financial pros

For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead. In fact, if he sees a gift for one of his two young sons in March, he’ll go ahead and buy it, instead of rushing through his shopping list in December. “It very much eases the burden,” he says, making his December […]
1 day ago
Elderly residents are evacuated by a local organization from the southern city of Kherson, Ukraine,...
Associated Press

Ukraine on edge for more attacks, West eyes humanitarian aid

KYIV (AP) — Ukraine prepared for more Russian strikes on Monday and warned of the possibility for a new round of evacuations from the capital during a relative lull from the airstrikes on energy facilities and other key infrastructure in recent weeks. In the West, meanwhile, preparations were stepped up to boost humanitarian aid to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Smallest German governing party stalls on citizenship reform

BERLIN (AP) — Senior members of the smallest party in Germany’s coalition government are seeking to hit the brakes on plans to ease the rules for obtaining German citizenship, arguing Monday that the government must first do more to ensure that people who are in the country illegally are deported. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Interior […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
G7 ministers seek to boost unity on Ukraine, China, Iran