Leaders of the Group of 7 nations are determined to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin and those responsible for the invasion of Ukraine "to account." They have announced a new round of sanctions and warn that any country supporting the Russians will "face severe costs."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in their online meeting on Friday. The leaders condemned what they called Russia's "illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked war."
Zelenskyy said, "You and I can make this year 2023 to be the year of the end of Russian aggression, the year of the return to peace."
The leaders also denounced Putin's "irresponsible nuclear rhetoric." They called out his decision to suspend participation in the New START treaty with the US. And they expressed concern over the continued occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
The sanctions are aimed at reducing Putin's ability to finance the war by strengthening export bans on oil products. They will also introduce measures against diamond exports while targeting additional financial institutions.
The leaders agreed, once again, to support Ukraine "for as long as it takes." They say their immediate focus is on delivering air defense systems, munitions and tanks.
They have also pledged economic support this year of 39 billion dollars. And they are urging the International Monetary Fund to provide a financial program by the end of March. Ukrainian leaders are seeking at least 15 billion dollars.