TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Group of Seven (G7) on Tuesday called on China to press Russia to stop its aggression in Ukraine after foreign ministers of the bloc met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly and released a joint statement.
The statement, released by the foreign ministry of G7 chair Japan, said the members hoped China would push for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
The statement comes as China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, visits Russia for a four-day trip during which both nations are expected to pledge deeper political ties, with a possible visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing on the horizon.
The G7 members also welcomed China's participation in the Ukraine-led meeting in Jeddah and "further encouraged China to support a just and lasting peace, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine," the statement said.
Putin met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week in Moscow for talks that included closer military ties, alarming the United States and other western-aligned countries.
Pyongyang and Moscow have denied that North Korea could supply arms to Russia, which has expended vast stocks in more than 18 months of war.
The G7 joint statement did not name any countries, but said its members "reiterated their call on third parties to cease any and all assistance to Russia's war of aggression or face severe costs."