Opening Statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock: G7 Working Session on Russia
I would like to welcome you all to the 10th G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting this year. In these difficult times, the G7 has been a powerful engine for crisis management.
I would like to give a particularly warm welcome to Antonio Tajani, who is joining us for the first time in the G7 group. Good to have you with us, Antonio.
And a very special welcome to Dmytro Kuleba, who is joining us virtually today. Dmytro, we are looking forward to your insights on the latest developments in Ukraine. It is really important to be in close contact with Dmytro, as we have been at many G7 meetings.
For many of you, this may be your first visit to the beautiful city of Münster. It is a historic place. Here, in the Hall of Peace, the Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648.
Münster and this Hall of Peace embody the concept of peace and the rule of law. This is just the right place to hold this meeting because the G7 also embodies the concept of peace and the rule of law.
That is why I chose this place. The parties that came together here in 1648 were also fighting for peace. The treaty they signed gave birth to the idea of states peacefully coexisting as sovereign equals – and thus laid the foundations of modern international law.
And it is precisely this idea of sovereign equality and peace enshrined in the UN Charter that we are defending today – and which Russia is attacking in its brutal war against Ukraine:
President Putin is not only bombing villages and cities, but is also bombing power plants that millions of people need to heat their homes. He wants to starve and freeze the cities in Ukraine that he is not able to conquer. That is why Ukraine is on our agenda today.
Putin’s announcement that Russia is suspending the Black Sea grain deal was just another example of how he is trying to draw the poorest countries into this conflict and make them pay the price for his war.
We, as the G7, have a responsibility to push back against such ruthless action. To push back against the violation of law and peace. Together, we coordinated a strong response to this aggression. We worked together with regard to the sanctions packages and to the delivery of weapons.
This time, we are also here to coordinate our actions with regard to the winter support for Ukraine, because electricity grids are being bombed, water stations are being bombed, children are hiding under their school tables when they hear the alarms, and elderly people are afraid that they will not be able to heat their already damaged houses during the winter.
Therefore, it’s crucial that we stand side by side with the people in Ukraine, and also with those people around the world who are suffering from rising food and energy prices because of Russia’s war.
With this in mind, we will also meet with our African colleagues from the African Union, Kenya and Ghana tomorrow.
We’re not only standing united with the people in Ukraine, we’re not only standing united to uphold international law, but we are also united as the international community in facing other challenges that are not going away as Russia wages its brutal war – like the climate crisis and the food crisis all around the world.
Thank you very much for being here today in this historic hall where we are also sending a clear message: peace and the rule of law will prevail.