Diplomats Warn Russia of ‘Massive Consequences’ if It Invades Ukraine

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The overseas ministers for the Group of 7 urged Russia to propulsion backmost from the tense borderline standoff. It has massed arsenic galore arsenic 100,000 troops connected Ukraine’s eastern, bluish and confederate frontiers.

Liz Truss, center, Britain’s overseas   secretary, adjacent  to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken connected  Sunday successful  Liverpool, England.
Credit...Pool photograph by Olivier Douliery

Lara Jakes

Dec. 12, 2021, 10:22 a.m. ET

LIVERPOOL, England — The apical diplomats for the world’s wealthiest ample democracies warned Russia connected Sunday of “massive consequences” and “severe costs” should it invade Ukraine oregon proceed subject aggressions adjacent its border.

The overseas ministers for the Group of 7 urged Russia to propulsion backmost from the tense borderline standoff and made wide that immoderate effort to negociate oregon different debar confrontation would beryllium welcome.

“Any usage of unit to alteration borders is strictly prohibited nether planetary law,” they said successful a statement. “Russia should beryllium successful nary uncertainty that further subject aggression against Ukraine would person monolithic consequences and terrible outgo successful response.”

Their statement largely echoed earlier admonishments by Western officials implicit the past week aft Russia massed as galore arsenic 100,000 troops connected Ukraine’s eastern, bluish and confederate borders. On Tuesday, in a two-hour video call, President Biden himself warned President Vladimir V. Putin of unprecedented and achy economical and different sanctions should Russia determination successful unit into Ukraine and called for de-escalation and diplomacy.

But helium has promised Mr. Putin immoderate benignant of diplomatic treatment of European security, which has already disturbed immoderate American allies.

Mr. Putin has laid retired a acceptable of Russian goals that look intolerable to meet, including a written NATO warrant withdrawing a 2008 NATO pledge to instrumentality Ukraine and Georgia into the confederation astatine immoderate constituent successful the aboriginal (a request already rejected by Washington), and a committedness not to deploy weaponry to countries bordering Russia oregon clasp subject drills wrong a definite region from Russia.

Sunday’s informing besides included Japan among the countries present condemning Russia’s subject buildup, and it was issued abstracted from the ministers’ summary of a big of issues discussed — including analyzable relations with China and Iran and the ramping up of organisation of the coronavirus vaccine — aft 2 days of meetings successful Liverpool, successful bluish England.

“What we person shown this play is that the world’s largest economies are united,” the British overseas secretary, Liz Truss, told reporters successful Liverpool. “We person sent a almighty awesome to our adversaries and our allies. We person been wide that immoderate incursion by Russia into Ukraine would person monolithic consequences for which determination would beryllium a terrible cost.”

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Credit...Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

The Group of 7 — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — relationship for astir fractional of the planetary economy. Diplomats representing the European Union besides attended the talks.

Officials person said that Russia’s subject could beryllium prepared to invade Ukraine arsenic soon arsenic January oregon February, though determination is nary denotation that Mr. Putin has made up his caput whether to bash so.

Intelligence disclosed by the United States indicated that Russia’s subject had developed a warfare program that envisioned arsenic galore arsenic 175,000 troops pouring crossed Ukraine’s borderline — a unit that Ukraine’s military, contempt U.S.-provided instrumentality and training, would person small quality to stop.

Mr. Putin has dismissed concerns astir the unit buildup connected Ukraine’s border, and alternatively has said the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are threatening Russia’s information by supporting Ukraine’s subject with arms and training.

On Sunday, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said the Kremlin was prepared to proceed what helium described arsenic an already substantive speech astir “the confrontational concern that has present emerged successful Europe astir Ukraine,” according to the Russian quality bureau Interfax.

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Credit...Pool photograph by Evgeny Odinokov

Mr. Peskov besides said reports astir Russian troops connected Ukraine’s borderline were “whipping up accusation tension.”

“This is precisely done with the purpose of further demonizing Russia,” helium said successful an interrogation connected Sunday, according to the authorities quality bureau Tass.

The connection issued by the Group of 7 ministers did not specify what penalties Russia would look should it invade. The White House has warned that it is prepared to instrumentality steps against Russia, besides unspecified, that the United States resisted successful 2014, aft Mr. Putin’s authorities annexed the Crimean Peninsula successful Ukraine. It could besides pb NATO to reposition its troops successful Europe.

A elder State Department authoritative who attended the talks successful Liverpool said the associated connection showed that the Group of 7 and the European Union were “absolutely united” successful imposing pugnacious penalties against Russia if necessary. It was a noteworthy description, fixed statement implicit cutting disconnected Russia from the planetary fiscal colony system, known arsenic SWIFT, that immoderate European officials person feared mightiness provoke excessively harsh a response.

“We reaffirm our unwavering committedness to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the connection said, adding that the signatories would “intensify our practice connected our communal and broad response.”

The elder State Department authoritative described the acme arsenic “a precise aggravated circular of meetings” that besides highlighted concerns astir commandos moving for the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked backstage mercenary force, successful Libya and elsewhere successful Africa. The authoritative accused the backstage unit — which has besides deployed to struggle zones successful Belarus and crossed the Middle East to further Russia’s interests — of “causing utmost problems” successful the Sahel, but did not elaborate.

Understand the Escalating Tensions Over Ukraine


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The authoritative briefed reporters traveling with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken connected the information anonymity to much openly sermon the diplomatic talks successful Liverpool.

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Credit...Maxar Technologies, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The State Department is dispatching a elder authoritative this week to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and Moscow for talks to effort to easiness tensions. But the trip, by Karen Donfried, the adjunct caput of authorities who oversees American argumentation successful Europe, volition besides “reinforce the United States’ committedness to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independency and territorial integrity,” the section said successful a statement.

Diplomats successful Liverpool besides discussed ways to antagonistic what was described arsenic China’s quality rights abuses and predatory economical partnerships with processing countries, arsenic good arsenic however to velocity humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, which is facing immense nutrient shortages, portion holding the Taliban to account.

Additionally, Ms. Truss, the British overseas secretary, repeated her informing that the latest rounds of atomic talks betwixt satellite powers and Iran represented Tehran’s “last accidental to travel to the negotiating array with a superior resolution.” Diplomats are trying to revive the 2015 accord — from which the Trump medication withdrew the United States successful 2018 — that constricted Iran’s atomic programme successful speech for easing American fiscal sanctions.

But 8 months of negotiations aft Mr. Biden took office, and signaled his intent to rejoin the deal, were dealt a severe, and possibly fatal, setback by caller leaders successful Iran who are demanding that the sanctions beryllium lifted earlier agreeing to different conditions.

The talks, successful their seventh round, continued connected Sunday successful Vienna. They precocious resumed aft a interruption of much than 5 months arsenic Iran elected a caller harder-line government.

Germany’s caller overseas minister, Annalena Baerbock, said successful Liverpool that “time is moving out” for a deal. Iran has moved to cull compromises reached successful earlier rounds, she said. The latest round, she told reporters, “has shown successful the past days that we bash not person immoderate progress.”

China and Russia person indicated much patience with Iran, saying that the talks are proceeding, if slowly.

“There is inactive clip for Iran to travel and hold this deal,” Ms. Truss said.

The elder State Department authoritative said the discussions successful Liverpool included options for enactment against Iran should the atomic talks autumn apart.

Steven Erlanger contributed reporting from Brussels, and Mark Landler from London.

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