G7 pledges renewed solidarity with Ukraine, more sanctions against Russia

by Barbara R. Abercrombie
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Leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States say they will continue to support Ukraine “as long as it takes.”

The Group of Seven (G7) leaders, made up of the world’s richest democracies, have pledged “as long as it takes to Ukraine” amid Russia’s ongoing invasion.

The leaders, who met Monday for a second day of a summit at a German castle in the Bavarian Alps, said in a joint statement they would continue to provide “financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support” to Ukraine.

They also pledged to continue “sustaining and intensifying international economic and political pressure” on the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin “and its boosters in Belarus”.

The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States released the statement after hearing via video link from Russian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian president “gave a very clear answer that now is not the time for negotiations” with Russia, the French presidency said after the meeting.

As @G7, we stand united on Ukraine’s side and will continue our support. For this, we all have to make hard but necessary decisions. Thank you, @ZelenskyyUa, for joining us today. We will continue to increase pressure on Putin. This war must end. #G7GER pic.twitter.com/avuvN5auPB

— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) June 27, 2022

In the joint G7 statement, leaders pledged to “explore new ways to isolate Russia from global market participation” and crack down on evasion. That came shortly after US President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the G7 planned to ban Russian gold imports.

The US and other Western countries have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine

G7 pledges

.Meeting participants also pledged to “further reduce dependence on Russian energy,” with a senior US official telling reporters earlier in the day that the G7 countries were “developing mechanisms to fix a global price cap.” propose Russian oil in shipments to countries outside the US, the EU, the UK, and the wider G7″.

For his part, Zelenskyy, writing on his Telegram channel after addressing G7 leaders, said sanctions “should be further strengthened by limiting the prices of oil exported by the aggressor”.

Among the other punitive pledges, the G7 said their governments would explore ways to use increased tariffs on Russian goods to “assist Ukraine where appropriate,”; extend targeted sanctions further to curtail the “Russian arms industry and technology sector,”; and punishes “those responsible for war crimes, who exercise illegitimate authority in Ukraine and are responsible for “stealing and exporting Ukrainian grain.”

The promises came after Bloomberg News reported Monday that Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency national debt for the first time in more than a century after the grace period on some $100 million in interest payments due Sunday expired.

The Kremlin said the “default claims” were “absolutely wrong”, adding that it could not make payments due to Western sanctions imposed on the Kremlin.

The G7 also used the communiqué to call on Russia to allow grain shipments from Ukraine to prevent the global food crisis from worsening.

The statement said Moscow must “stop its attacks on agricultural and transport infrastructure without preconditions and allow free passage of agricultural shipping from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.”

The group also expressed “serious concern” about Putin’s plan to send missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus.

“We urge Russia to behave responsibly and to exercise restraint, reiterating that any use of such weapons would be unacceptable and have dire consequences,” the leaders said.

The G7 meeting will be followed later in the week by a NATO leaders-level summit in Spain’s capital, Madrid.

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