G7 powers warn Russia of more sanctions over Ukraine
The leaders of the world's major developed economies condemned Russia for destabilizing Ukraine on Wednesday and warned it faces still tougher sanctions if it does not change course.
"Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation, which would lead to the removal of these sanctions," the G7 powers said, in a joint statement released by the White House.
"If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions."
The G7 -- Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- issued the statement one day after Washington and the European Union announced increased sanctions on Moscow.
"We once again condemn Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to de-stabilize eastern Ukraine. Those actions are unacceptable and violate international law," the group said.
"We condemn the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the deaths of 298 innocent civilians. We demand a prompt, full, unimpeded, and transparent international investigation."
The G7 powers said Moscow should use its influence with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to enable air crash investigators and OSCE monitors to operate in safety.
They demanded that Russia get behind a ceasefire plan being pushed by Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and support efforts to find a political solution to a conflict with a rising civilian death toll.