Russia’s President Vladimir Putin looks on ahead of the Victory Day military parade in Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of World War II Victory on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.
The UK is hosting the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers for the first face-to-face meetings since the coronavirus pandemic began and the group’s first foreign ministers meeting since 2019.
Geopolitical issues that Britain said “threaten to undermine democracy, freedoms and human rights” will be on Tuesday’s agenda, including “relations with Russia, China and Iran and the Myanmar crisis Violence in Ethiopia and the US “ongoing war in Syria,” the government said in a statement.
Russia’s “ongoing malicious activities”, including the buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine, the detention of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and the situation in Belarus are high on the agenda.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday. At a press conference they reaffirmed their joint commitment to “maintaining transatlantic unity in defense of our common values and in response to direct threats,” said Blinken.
Talks are ahead of a major G7 summit in Cornwall in early June, which will be attended by G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, who will make his first planned trip abroad since taking office.
The G-7 is an alliance of the world’s most industrialized nations: Great Britain, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. The EU takes part in all discussions as a guest.
After the talks on Tuesday, the foreign ministers will have a dinner with the host countries Australia, India, South Korea, South Africa and Brunei as the current ASEAN chairmanship.
Diplomatic relations between the G-7 and Russia have remained strained since the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. This resulted in Russia being suspended from what was then the Group of Eight (G-8) and international sanctions were imposed on Russia.
Since then, Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, a 2018 nerve agent attack in the UK, a cyberattack on US government and corporate networks, and alleged interference in the 2020 election have sparked further sanctions against the country. The Russian government has repeatedly denied all allegations.
Meanwhile, relations between the West and China have remained at an impasse since the departure of former US President Donald Trump, but questions about the future of international trade remain.
International relations with Iran are also in the spotlight after the Biden government said it was ready to hold talks with the potential to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in 2018.
The UK currently holds the rotating presidency of the G-7 and Foreign Secretary Raab said the UK presidency is “an opportunity to bring open democratic societies together and demonstrate unity when there is a pressing need to address common challenges and growing threats.” . “
Tuesday’s discussions will also cover tensions and escalating conflicts in other parts of the world, including the coup in Myanmar. The UK said it would urge the G7 to step up crackdown on the military junta, including expanding targeted sanctions against those associated with the junta. Support for arms embargoes; and increased humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable in the country.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (R) walk down Downing Street in London, Great Britain, on May 3, 2021.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The situation in Libya and the ongoing war in Syria are also on the agenda. On Tuesday afternoon, the group will discuss the situation in Ethiopia, as well as Somalia, the Sahel and the Western Balkans.
The meetings in London are taking place as developed nations slowly resume their personal diplomacy after a pause due to the pandemic. The last meeting of the G7 foreign ministers took place in April 2019 in Dinard and Saint-Malo, France.
The UK said Tuesday’s meeting was a pivotal opportunity to revive personal diplomacy and, along with geopolitical issues, “will seek to establish a common approach among the world’s leading democracies to fair access to vaccines in order to set tough global educational goals for girls.” agree climate finance targets and new measures to prevent famine and food insecurity. “
The talks in London take place in the run-up to a high-profile summit of G7 heads of state and government in Cornwall from 11 to 13 June, at which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will bring together heads of state and government from the member states, the EU and the host countries.
Covid-safe measures are in place for the London Talks, including daily coronavirus tests. All domestic social distancing guidelines will be in place, the UK said.