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G7 ministers call on China to put pressure on Moscow and stop aggression against Ukraine

G7 ministers call on China to put pressure on Moscow and stop aggression against Ukraine China must pressure Moscow to stop aggression, G7 says (Photo: Getty Images)

The countries of the G7 have called on China to exert pressure on Russia to end its aggression against Ukraine. Foreign ministers of the G7 bloc met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and issued a joint statement, according to Reuters.

The statement published by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which currently holds the G7 presidency, mentioned that the member countries hope that China will seek the immediate, complete, and unequivocal withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.

This statement comes when China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, is visiting Russia on a four-day trip, during which both countries are expected to strengthen their political ties. Additionally, a visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing is on the horizon.

The G7 members also welcomed China's participation in the meeting led by Ukraine in Jeddah and "further encouraged China to support a just and lasting peace, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine," according to the statement.

Putin met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un last week. The meeting included discussions on closer military ties, which has raised concerns in the United States and other Western countries.

Both Pyongyang and Moscow deny that North Korea supplies weapons to Russia, which has depleted its stocks over 18 months of war.

The joint G7 statement does not name specific countries but states that its members "reiterated their call on third parties to cease any and all assistance to Russia's war of aggression or face severe costs."

China's Position

Since the start of the war in February 2023, China has refused to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and significantly increased trade with Moscow amid Western sanctions. Beijing has put forward a so-called "peace plan" with vague language.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited Moscow in the spring of 2023 after the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for the Russian president over the abduction of Ukrainian children.

In October of the previous year, Ukrainians viewed China as more of a neutral country (63%). Still, by June 2023, this perception shifted to be more neutrally negative, with 34% viewing it as a hostile country and 52% as neutral.