At the beginning of the conference of the G7 ministers of the interior, Nancy Faeser, Federal Minister of the Interior, stressed the group’s solidarity with Ukraine. Russia’s war, she said, was a humanitarian catastrophe for millions of people. She also pledged that the G7 ministers of the interior would do all they could to help these people and ease their suffering. Faeser stressed that crimes of great cruelty against the civilian population and destruction of civilian infrastructure were happening on a daily basis. “This has to stop,” she demanded at the meeting in the town of Eltville in Hesse. “Putin must put an end to this brutal war.”
Countering lies with facts
Faeser expressed her concern at the impact on Germany, noting the significant increase in threats to critical infrastructure and the dissemination of foreign disinformation and propaganda. Faeser accused Russia of attempting to use lies to spread uncertainty, along with seeking to undermine trust in state institutions and opening up divides in societies. Faeser, however, was optimistic, stressing that “Putin will not succeed. We will counter lies with facts,” she said.
Economic protection is important
The Federal Minister of the Interior expressed her concern at recent developments around economic espionage. Along with the significant threats to critical infrastructure, Faeser said, these show how important it is for the G7 to stand together. Faeser thanked her Japanese counterpart for keeping the topic on the agenda for when Japan takes over the G7 presidency.
Combating extremism and terrorism
“Far-right extremism is one of the most significant threats to our democracies,” Faeser said, stressing that an increasing radicalisation spiral of hatred and violence had been observed, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. “Through the framework of the G7 we will continue to use all available means to combat all forms of terrorism and extremism which threaten our free societies,” she said.
The Federal Minister of the Interior also drew attention to the serious threat posed by organised crime, not only to state institutions but also to private businesses. Faeser intends to make fighting drug crime a priority. “The drugs that are being traded internationally in large quantities destroy people,” she stressed.
Child abuse and human trafficking
“Protecting children is our topmost priority,” Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser said, which was why she had made the issue a focus for the G7. Faeser said that threats to children from sexual violence and human trafficking had increased massively in recent years, and that the criminals were mostly part of international networks. She stressed that international collaboration on criminal prosecutions was essential. “This is about protecting our children from this repulsive crime,” Faeser said. “We all agree that we must intensify our efforts in the fight against these crimes.”