The G7 is committed to the recovery of Ukraine and the isolation of Russia

At a summit with the war in Eastern Europe as the main theme, the leaders of the seven powers confirmed that “we will be at Ukraine’s side for as long as necessary” and advanced the holding of an international conference to support the recovery of that country . In addition, they agreed to cap the price of oil and ban imports of Russian gold. Rain of criticism for the weak commitments in the face of the climate crisis and global famine.

More support for Ukraine and more pressure against Russia. These two main axes dominated the final declaration of the G7 summit in Elmau, the 1,000-meter-high Bavarian castle that brought together the leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

As expected, the conflict took center stage in the deliberations and, in the statement, the seven heads of state and government pledged to support Ukraine against the “illegal and unjustifiable war of Russian aggression.”

“We will stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary and provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic assistance for the courageous defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the seven nations said.

In numbers, in 2022, financial support to Ukraine exceeds 2.8 billion dollars in humanitarian aid and the planned backing provided to kyiv by the G7 is estimated at $29.5 billion.

Thinking about the consequences of the conflict that started 125 days ago and has no resolution in sight, the G7 announced an “international reconstruction conference and an international reconstruction plan” for Ukraine.

Also, looking to the future, the seven economic powers plan to reach long-term commitments in the field of security with various actors interested in “helping Ukraine in its self-defense and guaranteeing its free and democratic future.”

New G7 sanctions on Russia: oil price ceiling and gold veto

With US President Joe Biden as the main promoter, the G7 countries also agreed to tighten sanctions against Russia, which seek to suffocate the Russian economy and force an end to the war. In the words of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, “there is no way back for Russia.”

“There is only one way out: that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin accept that his plans in Ukraine will not succeed,” Scholz said at the press conference at the close of the meeting.

On the one hand, the leaders left open the possibility of prohibiting the transport of Russian oil, unless it is purchased “at or below a price agreed with international partners.”

This measure seeks to counteract the benefits that Moscow obtains due to the drastic rise in energy prices.

The other great action agreed by the G7 was the prohibition of imports of Russian gold, which in 2021 earned Russia revenues of more than 15,000 million dollars.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, host of the G7 summit, gives a press conference after the closing of the meeting in Elmau on June 28, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, host of the G7 summit, gives a press conference after the closing of the meeting in Elmau on June 28, 2022. © Leonhard Foger/Reuters

These sanctions apply immediately to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan, while Germany, France and Italy must submit them to the approval of the European Union.

The G7 also invited “all like-minded countries to consider joining us in our actions” and charged its ministers to explore how to generate alternatives to Russian fossil fuels.

Criticism of China and a call for pressure on Russia

In an unprecedented move, the G7 toughened its criticism of China’s economic and human rights policies in their joint statement and urged Beijing to pressure Russia to stop the invasion of Ukraine.

In the statement, the leaders called on China to uphold the principle of peaceful conflict resolution and join the pressure for Russia to withdraw its troops immediately and unconditionally.

On the other hand, the seven powers questioned China’s “non-transparent and market-distorting interventions” and vowed to work together to ensure a level playing field.

Faced with this, the group backed Biden’s plan to support the construction of infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries to build ties between Asia and Europe. Between now and 2027, the proposal will receive up to 600,000 million, with the aim of counteracting the Chinese advance with its Silk Road.

In addition, they berated Beijing for its “expansive maritime claims” in the South China Sea, which have “no legal basis,” and deplored what they called unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.

The G7 was also “gravely concerned” – a term omitted from the summit a year ago – about the human rights situation in China, particularly the cases of forced labor in Tibet and Xinjiang. And they called on Beijing to guarantee rights, freedom and a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong.

And, in what was also seen as a warning to China, the group promised to exclude from global trade those products manufactured in conditions of labor exploitation -and by extension, child labor-, an unprecedented statement for the forum of powers.

The G7 launches the Climate Club, but climate commitments are diluted

On climate matters, the G7 leaders once again reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreements and stressed the need to promote the transition towards “clean and fair” climate neutrality, while at the same time guaranteeing energy security.

To that end, before the end of the year, the group will establish the Climate Club, a new open forum, which will have as one of its central objectives to advance with decarbonization.

However, the meeting left few concrete commitments and, on the contrary, was marked by setbacks justified by the “exceptional” circumstances of the war in Ukraine.

Specifically, industrialized democracies allowed themselves leeway to allow fossil fuel investments without compensation, contrary to an earlier plan to end public support by the end of 2022.

In the same vein, they abandoned the goal of making half of vehicles zero-emissions by 2030 – under pressure from Japan – and replaced it with a vague promise to “significantly” increase sales.

Environmentalists have reacted with fury and concern. “We need to be absolutely sure that by taking a short-term decision, we do not lock ourselves (ourselves) in an unsustainable future. If we do that, we will pay an even higher price than the war in Ukraine in the next decade,” Marco warned. Lambertini, director general of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“The G7 leaders have cynically used the war in Ukraine as an excuse to take a big step backwards in the fight against the climate crisis during this summit,” added Wiktoria Jędroszkowiak, a 20-year-old Polish activist, member of the global climate movement led by by young people ‘Fridays for Future’.

The 4,500 million dollars to fight famine is not enough, activists respond

Food insecurity, deepened in these times by the aftermath of the war in Ukraine and the worst drought in decades in some parts of Africa, was another issue addressed at the G7 summit.

The main commitment of the leaders was to allocate An additional $4.5 billion to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and malnutritionbringing to 14,000 million the assistance committed this year.

In addition, the seven leaders sought input from those with food reserves, stressed that they are looking for ways to get grain out of Ukraine in the face of the Russian blockade on Black Sea ports, and agreed to step up aid to farmers in the country and address fertilizer shortages. .

A boy walks outside makeshift shelters at the Kaxareey camp for internally displaced people who fled severe drought, in Dollow, Gedo region, Somalia, on May 24, 2022.
A boy walks outside makeshift shelters at the Kaxareey camp for internally displaced people who fled severe drought, in Dollow, Gedo region, Somalia, on May 24, 2022. © Feisal Omar / Reuters

Short promises, according to activists, who demand more forceful actions from the richest countries in the world.

“Faced with the worst hunger crisis in a generation, the G7 simply has not taken the necessary action. As a result, many millions will face terrible famine,” warned Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at Oxfam, who charged that “the G7 is starving millions and cooking the planet.”

For his part, Stephan Exo-Kreischer, director of the ONE Campaign in Germany, considered that the G7 did not show global leadership and recalled that the sum of 14,000 million dollars of assistance committed by the group “is not close to 21,500 million dollars the World Food Program needs this year alone.

The G7 agreements were completed with a commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and generalist calls to restructure the debts of the most vulnerable countries, guarantee equitable access to vaccines to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and move towards equal opportunities. gender. Thus closed the meeting in Germany that serves as a bridge for the NATO meeting in Madrid, which will also have the war in Ukraine as its main topic.

With Reuters and EFE

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Written by Editor TLN

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