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G7 calls on Russia to be transparent in military activities

The diplomats of the G7 countries reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity

LONDON, May 5. /TASS/. The Group of Seven has urged Russia to honor its OSCE obligations to ensure transparency of military activities, reads the joint statement adopted on Wednesday following a meeting of top diplomats of the G7 countries.

The diplomats reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity "within its internationally recognised borders including its territorial waters." "We call on Russia to uphold the OSCE principles and commitments it has signed up to on transparency about its military forces and activities, including by addressing the specific concerns and questions raised under Chapter III of the Vienna Document," the statement notes. "It is critical that Moscow now fully withdraws its forces and takes the necessary steps to help alleviate tensions."

The club also expressed "deep concern" over the blocking of access to parts of the Black Sea. At the same time, the joint statement highlights Kiev’s alleged "posture of restraint and diplomatic approach in this context."

Western countries were repeatedly expressing concerns over remarks made by top Ukrainian brass saying that Russia was ramping up its troops along the Ukrainian border. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that movement of Russian borders in Russia should not raise concerns in other states because it does not threaten them in any way.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on April 22 ordered to finish inspections in the Southern and Western Military Districts because all the set goals had been achieved. Shoigu told to complete the return of the troops who were involved in the drills in southern Russia to their permanent location bases before May 1.

According to a bulletin of the Department of Navigation and Oceanography of the Russian Defense Ministry, passing of foreign military ships and other state vessels in a number of Black Sea regions in Russia’s territorial waters is suspended between April 24 and October 31. The document does not specify the reason behind the decision and what agency initiated it.