The G7 leaders stressed that the conflict in Ukraine can only be solved by diplomatic means and in full respect for international law, especially the legal obligation to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
They also urged all sides to take concrete steps that will lead to the complete cease-fire required under the Minsk agreements. "We also urge all sides to fulfill their commitments without delay with a view to holding local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as soon as possible in accordance with the Minsk agreements," the declaration reads.
The countries expressed hope that Russia will live up to its commitments and use its influence over the separatists to meet their commitments in full.
"However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require," the statement notes.
Prior to the publication of the declaration, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was too early to think of lifting EU sanctions against Russia. There is no need to expect the EU to give up on the stance that has been followed during the last months, she remarked.