In Munich, the group of seven major industrialized countries emphasized once again that they are firmly on Ukraine's side. It not only threatens the aggressor Russia with new sanctions, but also warns third countries against supporting the aggressor. The G7 representatives have China in particular in mind.
The G7 countries have warned China and other countries against providing military support to Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine. A joint statement by the foreign ministers of the seven western economic powerhouses released at the Munich Security Conference said the G7 was determined to sanction countries "that provided material support for Russia's illegal war against Ukraine". Such countries would have to reckon with "considerable costs". Third countries are also expected not to undermine the punitive measures against Moscow.
The G7 includes Germany, the USA, France, Great Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan. US Vice President Kamala Harris and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously warned against military support for China. President Joe Biden has made it very clear to Chinese President Xi Jinping that "any sin" in this regard will be considered a "very serious issue," Blinken said. "It's something we're watching very closely."
There was an exchange of blows between the representatives of China and the USA in Munich. China's top diplomat Wang Yi accused the US of a smear campaign and aggressive behavior against his country. Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee campaigned for peace talks in Ukraine and accused some - unnamed - states of not being interested in a peaceful solution. He announced a proposal from the Chinese leadership and called on the Europeans to also try to find a peace solution. He did not want to condemn Russia, but emphasized China's neutrality in the conflict.
The foreign ministers of the G7 countries also announced new, tougher sanctions against Russia in Munich. Russia must "immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and equipment from Ukraine and respect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders," the statement said. War crimes and other atrocities must not go unpunished, and all those responsible, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership, must be held accountable.