The leaders of the G-7 have called on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law, the White House reported on Wednesday.
"We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law. We call on the Russian Federation to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine," reads the statement. The G-7 leaders stressed that any such referendum would have no legal effect, so they would not recognize the outcome. "Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force. For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome," they said. Besides, the leaders of G-7 stated that Russian annexation of Crimea would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter and Russia's commitments under international and interstate treaties. "Should the Russian Federation take such a step, we will take further action, individually and collectively," reads the statement. The leaders also called on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the conflict in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine immediately, withdraw its forces back to their pre-crisis numbers and garrisons, begin direct discussions with the Government of Ukraine, and avail itself of international mediation and observation offers to address any "legitimate concerns it may have." "We, the leaders of the G-7, urge Russia to join us in working together through diplomatic processes to resolve the current crisis and support progress for a sovereign independent, inclusive and united Ukraine," reads the statement.