The foreign ministers of Japan and Ukraine agreed Friday the international community should remain united in maintaining strong sanctions against Russia over its invasion of the Eastern European country, with the war now in its third month and showing no signs of easing.
During talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in Weissenhaus, northern Germany, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Russia must be "held accountable over its atrocities," calling its actions "unacceptable," the Japanese ministry said in a press release.
Moscow is under scrutiny by a human rights panel of the United Nations over alleged human rights violations committed by its troops in northeastern regions of Ukraine.
Their talks came as the Group of Seven major developed nations have been ramping up pressure on Moscow, which launched military attacks against Ukraine starting on Feb. 24, tightening economic sanctions and pledging to reduce their reliance on Russian energy resources.
Meeting on the sidelines of the three-day G7 foreign ministerial meeting through Saturday, Kuleba was quoted by the ministry as telling Hayashi that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy greatly appreciates the recent decision by Japan to phase out Russian oil imports.
Hayashi also met separately with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, whose country is the rotating chair of the G7.
The two shared a view that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific region are inseparable, and that any attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo by force is not acceptable anywhere in the world, the ministry said.
Japan will take over the G7 chairmanship next year.
Ukraine, along with Moldova and Indonesia, has been invited to join part of the discussions during the G7 foreign ministerial gathering.
The G7 is made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union.