Western allies keep up pressure on Russia
Updated: Jul 3, 2022
International response remains unified on day 9 of Ukraine war
The International community kept up its pressure on Russia as the country's invasion of Ukraine entered its 9th day.
Western leaders and diplomats co-ordinated responses at the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and through the G7, in a busy day for international diplomacy.
Today's meetings came as news filtered through over night that there had been fighting close to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
G7 indicates further sanctions coming.
In a communique, G7 Foreign Ministers underlined that they would "continue to impose further severe sanctions in response to Russian aggression".
The Foreign ministers also indicated that they would look to punish any war crimes committed at the International Criminal Court.
UN votes to look into human rights' violations
The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to investigate all alleged human rights violation following the Russian invasion.
The resolution was passed 37-2. Only Eritrea voted with Russia. Traditional Russian allies, China, Cuba and Venezuela abstained.
Later at the United Nations Security Council, US Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield condemned Russia for its actions. She called on President Putin to withdraw his troops.
She also gave the starkest reaction to the situation at the Zaporizhia plant, saying "By the grace of god the world narrowly avoided a nuclear catastrophe".
Both the UK and France, the two permanent western European members of the Security Council, supported the US position.
US Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield addresses the UN Security Council (Source: US Mission to the UN)
"By the Grace of God, the world narrowly avoided a nuclear catastrophe" Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations
NATO won't impose a 'no-fly' zone.
Earlier at a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken underlined that the alliance would "defend every inch" of NATO territory.
However, NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that NATO would not be imposing a 'no-fly' zone in Ukraine. This, despite the Ukrainian Government having called for one.
Western leaders are concerned that a 'no-fly zone' would lead to a direct NATO-Russia confrontation - something they would like to avoid.
Watch: NATO Secretary-General "NATO is not seeking a war with Russia."
EU Foreign Policy Chief calls out Russian army tactics
Separately, EU Foreign Ministers met in Brussels on Friday, jointly with their US, Canadian and UK counterparts.
Prior to the meeting, EU High Representative, Josep Borrell characterised the Russian army as using "Barbarian" tactics in the shelling of civilian targets.
"The Russians are bombing and shelling everything. This is a barbarian way of doing war."Josep Borrell, EU High Representative.
Watch: EU High Representative "It looks like they want to destroy Ukraine".
Whilst the EU did not impose any new sanctions on Russia, Mr Borrell indicated that more were being drafted behind the scenes.
EU Heads of Government meet in Paris on Thursday next week. The topic of sanctions on Russia is expected to be high on the agenda.