The foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations plan to hold an emergency meeting this weekend in Germany to affirm the group’s unity over the crisis in Ukraine amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion, sources close to the plan said Wednesday.
The meeting would take place on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, a three-day multinational forum on international security policy that is slated to start Friday, according to the sources.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi plans to represent Japan at the meeting, also involving Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, plus the European Union.
During phone talks on Wednesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed they will never tolerate any attempt to alter the status quo in Ukraine by force, in reference to Moscow’s possible military action against the neighboring country.
Kishida and Johnson underscored their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Kishida told reporters after the talks.
The leaders also affirmed coordination on efforts to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine.
Kishida held separate phone talks Tuesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU.
Earlier this week, the G-7 finance ministers warned Russia of economic sanctions that would have “massive and immediate” consequences should it commit any aggression against Ukraine.
Tensions were heightened as Russia had amassed some 150,000 troops near Ukraine, a massive military buildup that follows its annexation of Crimea in 2014. But Moscow has denied that it intends to invade Ukraine.
In a move that could lead to de-escalation, Russia’s military said Tuesday some troops were returning to their bases following exercises near Ukraine.
Russia has been asserting that its security is under threat with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastward expansion and the possibility of the former Soviet republic becoming a member of the security bloc.