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G7 Leaders Back Tougher Sanctions On Russia Over The Ukraine

_p2a6292G7 Leaders agreed on Monday to toughen sanctions on Russia and if necessary to press for a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase (the) cost on Russia should its actions so require.”

At the annual summit, the national leaders said the current sanctions will remain in place until Russia helps to fully implement a peace plan agreed to in February in Minsk, Belarus.

That indicates that the European members of the group will support the extension of key European Union sanctions at their summit this month.

The G7 communiqué warned, “we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase (the) cost on Russia should its actions so require.”

U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Russian forces continue to operate in eastern Ukraine, violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

He said existing sanctions have damaged the Russian economy, and he said Russian President Vladimir Putin has to decide whether to “continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrongheaded desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet Empire.”

The President also said, “Russia’s greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries.”

The G7 group also addressed the threats from the militant groups Islamic State and Boko Haram, meeting Monday with leaders from Iraq, Tunisia and Nigeria.

The G7 leaders also called on all nations to fight human trafficking, which is creating a refugee crisis in some of Europe’s Mediterranean countries, and to work to establish a national government in Libya to help stem the flow of refugees.

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