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G7 envoys warn Ukraine’s interior minister of extremist activity before elections — radio

Radical groups might "usurp the role of the Ukrainian National Police and to consider outlawing them down the road," the report reads

KIEV, March 23. /TASS/. In a letter to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, ambassadors of the G7 group of the world’s leading industrialized nations expressed their concern about the activity of extremist groups in the country, including during the ongoing presidential campaign, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has reported.

"G7 ambassadors are urging Arsen Avakov, the interior minister, to act against violent political extremist groups who might threaten to disrupt the upcoming vote and usurp the role of the Ukrainian National Police and to consider outlawing them down the road," the report reads.

RFE/RL said it had obtained copies of two letters prepared by the G7 Ambassadors' Support Group for Ukraine (comprising diplomats form Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States). "One sent privately and the other drafted but watered down before being shared publicly," it said.

In the letter that was addressed to Avakov on March 15, French Ambassador Isabelle Dumont says on behalf of her fellow ambassadors that "the G7 group is concerned by extreme political movements in Ukraine, whose violent actions are worrying in themselves."

The ambassador said that those groups pose a threat to the upcoming presidential vote.

"They intimidate Ukrainian citizens, attempt to usurp the role of the National Police in safeguarding elections, and damage the Ukrainian government's national and international reputation," Dumont said.

The Ukrainian interior ministry’s press service confirmed that the minister had received those letters, RFE/RL said.

The article’s author, Christopher Miller, says Dumont’s letter contained "a thinly veiled reference to the National Corps and National Militia, the far-right Azov group's political and vigilante wings, respectively.".