Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial powers expressed growing concern over rising violence in south-eastern Ukraine and warned the Kremlin that it should move to limit the flow of arms and militants across the border or face tougher sanctions.
Meeting symbolically as the G7 without a Russian president for the first time in 17 years, the leaders did not agree specific triggers for another round of sanctions against Russia despite the urging of Barack Obama, the U.S. president, in the dinner meeting on the first night of a two-day summit.
Instead, in a communiqué the leaders left future action open-ended, saying they could "intensify targeted sanctions" or go for broader measures "should events so require".
But at a post-summit press conference, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, made clear that a failure to end the destabilization inside Ukraine or to recognize the newly elected Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, could lead the west to act further.
"The main thing is for Ukraine to have a sensible future," Ms Merkel said.
In its communiqué, the G7 continued to push for a reversal of Russian annexation of Crimea and vowed to stand behind the new Ukrainian government even "in the face of unacceptable interference" by Russia.