G7 ministers meet amid Russia stand-off

TORONTO: The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialised nations met in Toronto on Sunday seeking a common front against what they see as aggression from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The envoys will also be keen to glean clues from their US colleague about whether President Donald Trump will tear up the Iran nuclear deal and how he will handle a planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The ministers from the world’s most powerful democracies are also meeting to plan for June’s G7 summit of rich-world leaders in Charlevoix, Quebec — but Russia and North Korea will never be far from their minds.
Acting US Secretary of State John Sullivan’s first bilateral meeting in Toronto late on Saturday was with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. “Acting Secretary Sullivan reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “He urged Ukraine to redouble reform efforts and adhere to IMF programmes by adopting legislation to establish a truly independent anti-corruption court and raising gas tariffs to import parity levels,” she added. On Sunday, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will host all of her G7 colleagues plus the European Union’s representative at a working lunch to discuss the crisis in Russia and Ukraine. — AFP