The G7 warned countries against helping Russia in Ukraine on Tuesday, following a days-long meeting.
Gathering in the Japanese Alps, foreign ministers of the industrialised nations promised to make those who provide assistance to Moscow pay a “high price”.
Stances towards the Ukraine war vary considerably around the world, with policymakers in many capitals wanting to preserve trading ties with Moscow and cynical of Western action.
The G7’s warning comes a day after China’s defence minister hailed a “new era” of relations with Russia, vowing to deepen political and security cooperation.
Though they did not mention it directly, their statement echoes repeated warnings from Western officials for Beijing not to supply Russia with lethal military aid that could be used in Ukraine.
The group, which includes the UK, US, France, Japan, Italy, Canada and Germany, also pledged to “intensify” sanctions against Russia and redouble their efforts to prevent third countries from getting around them.
Entities across Europe, Asia and the Middle East have helped Russia evade sanctions, which were slapped on over the Ukraine war.
The impact of sanctions is debated, with some studies suggesting they are “catastrophically crippling“ Russia’s economy.
However, an IMF predicted in February Russia would avoid recession in 2023 – unlike other rich nations, like the UK.
Having met since Sunday, the G7 also deemed Russia’s threat of deploying nuclear weapons in Belarus “unacceptable” and “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric”.
In March, President Vladimir Putin said Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be stationed in Belarus, which he claimed was a response to Britain providing Ukraine with armour-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Joserp Borrel slammed Moscow’s move as an “escalation and threat to European security”.
Russian officials pointed out that the US has nuclear weapons in Europe.