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G7 Toughens Russia Stance

Web Desk(April 24, 2018): Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven vowed to defend their “democracy” against attacks from Vladimir Putin’s Russia on Monday in a show of solidarity from the world’s richest industrialized economies.

Canada’s Chrystia Freeland, host of the Toronto talks, said Russia must pay a price for undermining Western elections, using nerve agent in an attempted assassination of a Russian double agent on British soil, and intervening in Ukraine and Syria.Her British counterpart Boris Johnson said his colleagues had backed London over the Salisbury poisoning attack and shown “strong G7 solidarity” with this month’s US, French and British air strikes on Syrian chemical weapons installations.

Both said the members would set up a working group ahead of the full G7 summit in June, where the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States may decide on tougher action against Moscow.

“You can see the G7, this group of industrialized liberal democracies coming together to vindicate our values here in Canada, and I think you see the groundwork for an excellent G7 summit at Charlevoix,” Johnson said.Freeland told reporters: “We are working to that idea and that idea is to have a group in G7 to work together, to work against disinformation and to protect democracy.”

The acting US secretary of state, John Sullivan — who may be replaced this week if outgoing CIA chief Mike Pompeo is confirmed as Washington’s top diplomat — did not commit President Donald Trump to specific action.

But he too spoke out against Russia’s “malign activity … whether it’s in Salisbury or its support for the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s regime in Syria.”

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