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WEISSENHAUS, Germany (AP) — The Group of Seven leading economies warned Saturday that the war in Ukraine is stoking a global food and energy crisis that threatens poor countries, and urgent measures are needed to unblock stores of grain that Russia is preventing from leaving Ukraine.

In a statement released at the end of a three-day meeting on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, the G-7 nations also called on China not to help Russia, including by undermining international sanctions or justifying Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

“Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe,” the group said.

“We are determined to accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security and stand by our most vulnerable partners in this respect,” it added.

The G-7 asked Beijing to support the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and “not to assist Russia in its war of aggression.”

The group, which comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, also called on China “to desist from engaging in information manipulation, disinformation and other means to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The meeting in Weissenhaus, northeast of Hamburg, was billed as an opportunity for officials to discuss the broader implications of the war for geopolitics, energy and food security, and ongoing international efforts to tackle climate change and the pandemic.

In a series of closing statements, the G-7 nations also addressed a wide range of global problems from the situation in Afghanistan to tensions in the Middle East.

On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appealed to friendly countries to provide more military support to Kyiv and increase the pressure on Russia, including by seizing its assets abroad to pay for rebuilding Ukraine.

Kuleba said his country remains willing to talk to Russia about unblocking grain supplies stuck in Ukraine’s silos and also about reaching a political agreement to end the war itself, but had so far received “no positive feedback” from Moscow.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview published Saturday that he had not detected any change in Putin’s stance recently.

Scholz, who spoke at length by phone with the Russian leader Friday, told German news portal t-online that Putin had failed to achieve the military objectives he set out at the start of the war while losing more Russian soldiers than the Soviet Union did during its decade-long campaign in Afghanistan.

“Putin should slowly begin to understand that the only way out of this situation is through an agreement with Ukraine,” Scholz was quoted as saying.

The G-7 meeting was attended by top diplomats from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. Aside from Kuleba, representatives from Moldova and Indonesia were also invited to participate in some of the talks.

Many of the foreign ministers were due to attend an informal meeting of NATO diplomats in Berlin later Saturday.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Tags: russia’s war food and energy most vulnerable in afghanistan saturday food security china not including nations global food

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Live updates | Japan to double Ukraine aid to $600 million

TOKYO — Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday his country will double its financial aid for Ukraine to $600 million in support of the country badly damaged by Russia’s aggression.

Japan will provide the additional $300 million through the World Bank to help Ukraine’s financial difficulties because of the Russian invasion, Kishida said.

The announcement comes just before Japan hosts U.S. President Joe Biden and two other leaders for a regional strategic framework known as the Quad summit and bilateral meetings next week when Kishida is expected to emphasize Japanese support for Ukraine.

Japan has quickly joined the United States and other Group of Seven countries and Europe in their sanctions against Moscow over its war in Ukraine, due to fear that Russia’s move may embolden China in the region.

The new pledge, combined with the $300 million Japan promised last month, brings Tokyo’s total contribution to $600 million.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

— Battle for Mariupol draws toward close after surrender

— UN chief ‘hopeful’ of Ukraine grain deal to help food crisis

— Senate confirms Brink as new US ambassador to Ukraine

— US intel shows Russians fear Mariupol abuse will backfire

— Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

MOSCOW — A provincial governor in western Russia says a civilian has been killed by cross-border shelling from Ukraine.

Kursk Gov. Roman Starovoit said the Ukrainian shelling early Thursday hit a driver who drove his truck to a distillery in the village of Tetkino.

Starovoit said several others were wounded in Thursday’s shelling.

Russian authorities have repeatedly reported damage and casualties from the Ukrainian shelling of areas on the border.

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KYIV, Ukraine — A regional governor in Ukraine says four civilians have been killed by the latest Russian shelling.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said they died Wednesday when Russian troops bombarded the town of Sievierodonetsk. He said another three residents were wounded.

Haidai said the Russian shelling continued early Thursday. Sievierodonetsk is in the epicenter of the fighting in the east where the Russian forces have been trying to press their offensive amid staunch Ukrainian resistance.

Separatist authorities in the Donetsk region bordering Luhansk in eastern Ukraine said two civilians were killed and another five were wounded in the Ukrainian shelling over the last 24 hours.

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WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Bridget Brink late Wednesday as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, filling the post as officials plan to return American diplomats to Kyiv during the nation’s continuing battle against the Russian invasion.

The veteran foreign service officer, who has spent most of her career in the shadow of the former Soviet Union, was nominated to the position last month by President Joe Biden.

Brink was confirmed by the Senate unanimously without a formal roll call vote.

American diplomats evacuated Kyiv when the war began three months ago, but Brink told senators during her confirmation hearing earlier this month that she would work to reopen the embassy.

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KYIV, Ukraine — The military administration for the region that includes Melitopol reported more actions of resistance on Wednesday against the Russian troops who have occupied the southern city since early in the war.

It said a grenade exploded near a Russian command post, followed by an exchange of fire. No casualties were reported.

On Tuesday, the regional administration said Ukrainian resistance fighters killed several high-ranking Russian officers in the occupied city. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Also on Wednesday, a Russian armored train carrying troops and ammunition overturned in Melitopol, causing the ammunition to detonate, the regional administration said on Telegram.

It said the Russian military does not maintain the tracks while overloading the trains, and as a result of the negligence and “with help” from resistance fighters, the armored train derailed.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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