The Kremlin said on Wednesday it hoped the Group of Seven would hold “the Kyiv regime” accountable for the crimes it has committed. The G7 nations pledged on Tuesday to continue providing financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support to Ukraine, adding in a statement after a leaders’ call that any use by Russia of nuclear weapons would be met with severe consequences.
Russia said on Wednesday that talk from Western leaders on the potential use of nuclear weapons was harmful and provocative.
“We express our daily regret that Western heads of state engage in nuclear rhetoric every day,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that such a practice was “provocative”.
Mr Peskov said there had been no attempt from either side to discuss a possible meeting with US President Joe Biden.
It comes as G7 leaders condemned Putin’s “war of aggression” in a heartbreaking update on the war in Ukraine.
In an update shared earlier today, the leaders of the G7 accused Putin of “blatantly violating” principles enshrined in the UN charter.
They added: “No country wants peace more than Ukraine, whose people have suffered death, displacement and countless atrocities as the result of Russian aggression.
“In solidarity with Ukraine, the G7 Leaders welcome President Zelensky’s readiness for a just peace.”
They also said they “deplore deliberate Russian escalatory steps”, such as the partial mobilisation announced by Putin on September 21.
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The world leaders said they used the meeting to reassure Mr Zelensky that they are “undeterred and steadfast in [their] commitment to providing the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity”, committing themselves to continue providing Ukraine with support.
This comes as Putin’s war effort in Ukraine appears to be stalling, with the Ukrainian army having retaken more than 6,000 sq km of land since the start of September, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The ISW said Russian forces are facing a “major operational defeat”. Putin has said that he would “use all the means at our disposal” to win the war.
Meanwhile, the US Defense Department estimated that at least 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 2022.