Allies ‘will not split’ in Russia, Biden promises G7 » Capital News

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G7 world leaders agree to ban Russian gold exports, further straining Moscow’s finances © SWIMMING POOL/AFP / BENOIT TESSIER

Elmau Castle (Germany) (AFP), June 26 – World powers agreed on Sunday to ban gold exports from Russia, kicking off a G7 meeting aimed at taking further steps to deplete Moscow’s war chest and bolster Russia’s defenses. ‘Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden and his counterparts from the world’s most industrialized nations are meeting at Elmau Castle in the German Alps before continuing to Madrid for talks with NATO partners.

The leaders – all men this time since Angela Merkel left the scene late last year – seek to close ranks in Ukraine against Russian invasion while fighting deepening fallout worlds of war.

“We have to stick together,” Biden told Merkel’s successor Olaf Scholz, the host of the three-day meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped “that somehow NATO and the G7 would separate,” Biden said. “But we haven’t and we won’t.”

Scholz also hailed Western unity which he said “Putin did not expect”, adding that every member of the club “must share responsibility” for dealing with the growing challenges presented by war.

The declarations of determination came as Russia resumed its strikes on Kyiv in the first assault on the Ukrainian capital in three weeks – an attack Biden condemned as “more of their barbarism”.

Regarding the summit, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the G7 to approve more sanctions against Moscow and more heavy weapons for Ukraine to defeat “Russia’s sick imperialism”. .

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will make the same plea when he joins the meeting via video link on Monday.

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From soaring inflation to the looming food crisis and energy shortages, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its fifth month, has thrown the world into a series of crises.

G7 leaders also face the looming threat of recession as well as the pressures of climate change.

Seeking to raise the temperature in Moscow, the G7 announced that it would ban imports of Russian gold. The United States has declared gold to be Russia’s second biggest export and an important source of income for Putin and his allies.

– “Armed energy” –

As Western allies hammered Russia’s economy with unprecedented sanctions, Putin’s army descended into an interminable war.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron said they now see an “opportunity to turn the tide” in Ukraine.

Protesters want the G7 to act on climate change © AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE

Johnson warned that ‘any attempt to resolve the conflict now would only cause lasting instability’ and risk giving ‘Putin’s license to manipulate sovereign countries and international markets in perpetuity,’ a Downing spokesman said. Street.

Seeking new measures to put pressure on Putin, Macron urged producers to cap oil prices to limit Russian profits from soaring energy revenues.

Paris supports a US proposal for a maximum oil price, Macron’s office said, but added that “it would be much more powerful if it came from producing countries”.

John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, said the G7 would seek to increase the costs and consequences of the war against Putin and the Russian economy.

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At the same time, they will aim to minimize “as much as possible the effect of this rise in oil prices and the way (Putin) has weaponized energy”.

Germany hosts the G7 summit in Bavaria’s Elmau Castle resort © AFP/File/Christof STACHE

The impact on the economy was the focus of the G7 opening session, with Scholz citing “lower growth rates, rising inflation, commodity shortages and supply chain disruptions. supply” as threats to post-pandemic recovery.

– Systemic rival –

Marked by a dependence on Russian energy which has prevented several European countries, including Germany and Italy, from doing everything possible to punish Russia, the G7 also looked with suspicion on China, which it considers a systemic rival.

As the chasm between Western allies Russia and China widens, the G7 has sought to rally other major players to its side with a grand global infrastructure plan.

Biden announced the G7 plan to rival China’s formidable Belt and Road Initiative by raising some $600 billion to spend on everything from roads to ports in poor countries.

As part of greater outreach to the Global South, Scholz invited the leaders of Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to Monday’s Alpine summit.

While Argentina and Indonesia voted in a crucial UN vote to condemn Russia, the other three abstained.

But all are directly affected by a looming hunger crisis triggered by the blocking of grain and wheat exports from Ukraine, and India, for example, has imposed restrictions on wheat exports.

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