Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has brought shame on Russia and the sacrifices its people made to defeat Nazi Germany in the second world war, leaders of the G7 group of leading western have said in a statement marking the 77th anniversary of the end of the global conflict.
The statement, made on Sunday after a video conference between the G7 leaders and the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was intended as a liberal as a rallying call by democracies in advance of Russia’s 9 May Victory Day parade in Moscow.
The G7 statement said: “Through its invasion of and actions in Ukraine since 2014, Russia has violated the international rules-based order, particularly the UN charter, conceived after the second world war to spare successive generations from the scourge of war.
“President Putin and his regime chose now to invade Ukraine in an unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign country. His actions bring shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people.”
The leaders also accused him of “an attack on feeding the world” if he did not comply with international law and end the blockade on Ukrainian food exports.
The G7 said it had collectively provided Ukraine with $24bn (£19.5) for financial and material support since the war started.
Separately, in a televised address to the German people, Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, vowed Germany would not be paralysed by fear nor allow Russia to dictate the terms of any peace deal in Ukraine.
In the joint statement the G7 leaders said they would collectively end their dependence on Russian energy “in a timely and orderly way”, but no precise timetable was set, reflecting the continued divisions in Europe about the speed with which such a phaseout can be achieved .
In a clarification of war aims, the G7 statement said: “Ukraine’s ultimate aim is to ensure full withdrawal of Russia’s military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and to secure its ability to protect itself in the future.”
Downing Street said that in his contribution to the G7 discussion, Boris Johnson urged his counterparts to supply the Ukrainians with “military equipment that allowed them to not just hold ground in Ukraine, but recapture it”.
Johnson “agreed with G7 leaders that the world must intensify economic pressure on Putin in any way possible, and said the west must not allow the war to turn into a stalemate that only magnified suffering”, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
Johnson also urged his G7 partners to “intensify their diplomatic lobbying of counterparts failing to apply pressure on President Putin’s war machine”, No 10 said.
Talks between diplomats in Brussels continued on Sunday to try to secure EU wide unanimity on a timetable for a phaseout of Russian energy, but the discussions were described as hard going. Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have been offered permission to continue importing Russian oil until the end of 2024, but they also want help securing new sources of oil and reoling their refineries.
Budapest wants a five-year period to wean itself off Russian oil and says it will need a new pipeline connection with Croatia, which has access to the sea.
The diplomatic activity came as the US first lady, Jill Biden, made a detour from her trip to Slovakia and Romania to visit refugees on an unannounced visit to Ukraine, where she met her Ukrainian counterpart, Olena Zelenska.
On a busy day for VIP visits in Ukraine, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, toured Irpin, a Kyiv suburb and scene of some of the worst early attacks by Russia. The president of the German Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, and the Croatian prime minister, Andrej Plenković, met Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Sunday.
In the Kyiv metro, the Edge and Bono from U2, at the invitation of Zelenskiy, performed alongside a Ukrainian soldier.
Bas is the most senior German politician to visit the capital. She took part in commemorative events on the anniversary of the end of the second world war, as well as discussing the vexed issue of German arms exports to Ukraine. It is expected that the German foreign minister, Annalea Baerbock, a surprise advocate of arms exports, will go to Ukraine shortly.
Irpin’s mayor, Oleksandr Markushyn, posted pictures on an official social media channel with Trudeau, writing that the Canadian prime minister “came to Irpin to see with his own eyes all the horror that the Russian occupiers had done to our city.”
Markushyn said Trudeau “saw – not military – but destroyed and completely destroyed homes facilities of Irpin residents, who until recently enjoyed life and had their own plans for the future”.
On Monday Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will travel to Berlin for talks with Scholz and to make a major address.