G7 to meet as Russia tightens grip on Crimea

World leaders to discuss crisis as Russian troops occupy 189 Ukraine military sites in Crimea and mass on border.

World leaders are to meet for a G7 summit to discuss a response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, after NATO’s top military commander warned Russian troops in the region posed a wider threat to other post-Soviet states.

Monday’s talks in the Netherlands will not involve Russia, which had been part of the group since 1998.

The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US will discuss the crisis as Russian troops continue to tighten their grip on Crimea by taking over a total of 189 sites occupied by the Ukraine military.

The West is also concerned by the threat of incursions into Ukrainian territory.

NATO’s top military commander saod on Sunday that Russia had amassed a force on Ukraine’s eastern border large enough to pose a threat to other post-Soviet republics.

“The force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready,” General Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander in Europe, said.

“There is absolutely sufficient force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transnistria if the decision was made to do that and that is very worrisome.”

The EU and the US has imposed a number of visa bans and asset freezes on some members of the inner circle of the russian president, Vladimir Putin, and are considering further measures.

The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said on Sunday that the EU was united in its readiness to impose economic sanctions should the crisis escalate.

“Russia has a lot more to lose in the medium term than the West, than Europe or the United States,” he said, adding that the aim was to uphold international law and it was “of secondary importance whether there is an economic or financial cost”.

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s defence minister, said on Sunday that “Russian armed forces do not undertake any undeclared military activity that would threaten the security of neighbouring countries”.

 

 

 

 

Source : Al Jazeera

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