THE HAGUE - Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations and the European Union on Monday said diplomatic avenues to de-escalate the Ukraine situation remain open, encouraging Russia to take them.
US President Barack Obama (C) participates in a G7 leaders meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014. At the table are the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. (L-R, clockwise). [Photo/Agencies]
The leaders made the remarks in a statement entitled "The Hague Declaration" that was issued following their meeting here.
"We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation," read the statement.
The G7 leaders will not participate in the planned G8 Sochi Summit and instead they will meet again in G7 format at the same time as planned, in June this year, in Brussels, according to the statement.
"We have also advised our Foreign Ministers not to attend the April meeting in Moscow. In addition, we have decided that G7 Energy Ministers will meet to discuss ways to strengthen our collective energy security," read the statement.