G7 leaders vow to hold Putin accountable for Ukraine missile strikes


In a video conference on Tuesday, G7 leaders condemn recent Russian missile strikes on Ukraine, noting that attacks on civilian populations constituted a war crime.
World powers have said that they would hold Russian leader Vladimir Putin responsible for recent widespread aerial strikes on Ukrainian cities including Kiev.
“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms and recall that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime,” the G7 said in a statement, after a video conference which was also addressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“We will hold President Putin and those responsible to account.”
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the joint statement said.
“We reassured President Zelenskyy that we are undeterred and steadfast in our commitment to providing the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Leaders also criticised Russia’s “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric”.
“We deplore deliberate Russian President Zelenskyy steps, including the partial mobilisation of reservists and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, which is putting global peace and security at risk. We reaffirm that any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences,” the statement said.
Zelenskyy told G7 leaders that Vladimir Putin still had “room for escalation” after two days of widespread aerial strikes on cities across Ukraine, including Kiev.
“The Russian leader, who is now in the final stage of his reign, still has room for further escalation,” Zelenskyy said.
This is “a threat to all of us”, he added.
He also called on his Western allies to help Ukraine fund an air defence system after dozens of Russian attacks knocked out power facilities across the country.
“I am asking you to strengthen the overall effort to help financially with the creation of an air shield for Ukraine.
Millions of people will be grateful to the Group of Seven for such assistance,” he said during the video address to G7 leaders.
He said that Ukraine for a second day in a row was suffering from “massive” Russian missile strikes and said Moscow’s forces had fired more than 84 missiles on Monday and another 28 on Tuesday.
But he also said those attacks had been augmented with “dozens of different drones”.
He also pointed to a heightened threat from Belarus and said Russia is seeking to drag its ally into the war, calling for international monitors to survey the Ukraine-Belarus border.