By Mario Trujillo - 07/30/14 02:39 PM EDT
The Group of Seven nations regrets that the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet in Eastern Ukraine did not mark a "watershed" moment for Russia to discontinue its support for separatists in the region.
The group said Wednesday it remains ready to impose additional costs on Russia if it does not end its support of the militants in Eastern Ukraine battling Kiev.
"Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation, which would lead to the removal of these sanctions," the seven nations said in a statement. "If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions."
They called for a cease-fire and pushed Russia to use its influence with the separatists to secure the Ukraine-Russia border — a plea that has been made for months.
The group is made up of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.
It expelled Russia for the G-8 earlier this year after its interference in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in March.
The United States and the European Union on Tuesday imposed additional sanctions on the country for its continued support of the separatists, who have been blamed for shooting down the commercial airliner that killed all 298 people on board.
The U.S. sanctions targeted a number of state-owned banks and a Russian shipbuilding company. They also placed export restrictions on the energy industry for future exploration.
"This terrible event should have marked a watershed in this conflict, causing Russia to suspend its support for illegal armed groups in Ukraine, secure its border with Ukraine, and stop the increasing flow of weapons, equipment, and militants across the border in order to achieve rapid and tangible results in de-escalation," according to the statement. "Regrettably, however, Russia has not changed course."
The nations again called for an unimpeded international investigation of the crash site, which has been approved by the U.N. Security Council, including Russia.