The G7 announces new sanctions to make Russia pay for the war in Ukraine

Hiroshima (Japan) (BLAZETRENDS).- The leaders of the G7 announced this Friday new sanctions to make Russia pay for the war in Ukraine and reaffirmed their commitment to help Kiev “for as long as necessary.”

The Group of Seven unveiled that position in a joint statement at the end of a closed-door meeting on Ukraine, which was held on the first day of the leaders’ summit in Hiroshima.

“We are imposing more sanctions and measures to increase the cost for Russia and for those who support its war effort,” the leaders said in their statement, in which they also renewed their commitment to support Ukraine at the financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic levels. .

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also announced that he is visiting Saudi Arabia, where the annual summit of heads of state of the Arab League begins today, to improve “Ukraine’s ties with the Arab world” and will not travel to Japan. to attend the G7 summit, although he will participate in the meeting remotely.

Economic measures to cut off funding for Moscow

The G7 detailed some of its “coordinated sanctions” and other economic measures to cut off Moscow’s financing channels and its use of products and materials that can be used in the military industry, including restrictions on “new key sectors” such as the construction, transportation and business.

The g7 leaders
The leaders of the G7, this Friday in Hiroshima. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/G7 Hiroshima Summit Host

The new measures will also try to prevent Russia from circumventing existing sanctions, which includes working with third countries “through which G7-restricted goods, services and technologies can be supplied” to Moscow.

In general terms, the Group of Seven explained that its new actions seek to cut off Moscow’s access to the international financial system and “limit its energy income and future extraction capacities,” according to the statement.

They also highlighted their willingness to continue reducing their dependence on Russian energy and other raw materials, and to reduce the income that Russia obtains from the diamond trade, for which “it will cooperate with other key countries” in this sector with a view to applying “future restrictive measures”.

The G7 countries also agreed to move swiftly to regulate generative artificial intelligence (AI), such as the ChatGPT chatbot, to address the risks of its rapid proliferation.

USA, Canada and the United Kingdom lead the sanctions

Despite the fact that the G7 wants to show unity, three of the group’s countries (the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom) have led this new wave of sanctions, while another three (Italy, Germany, France) will soon announce a new agreed package. within the European Union.

In line with this joint statement, Japan also plans to expand its list of sanctioned companies and individuals with actors from the construction and industrial manufacturing sectors.

Photo of the leaders at the G7 summit
A photo provided by the host of the G7 Hiroshima Summit with the leaders who have attended. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/G7 Hiroshima Summit Host

Specifically, according to a senior US official told the press, the United States will include 70 entities from Russia and other countries on a Commerce Department “black list” so that they cannot receive US exports.

In addition, the US Executive will impose 300 new sanctions against individuals, entities, ships and planes that are helping Russia to evade the sanctions imposed by the West for the war in Ukraine or that contribute to financing the conflict, for example through the purchase of energy resources. .

For its part, the United Kingdom announced that it will ban diamond exports from Russia and veto imports of copper, aluminum and nickel of Russian origin.

As reported by Downing Street – the office and official residence of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – in a statement, the new economic restrictions will affect 86 individuals and companies linked to the Russian industrial complex and other key sectors for the Russian economy, such as energy, metals and transport by ship.

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Russia minimizes the impact of sanctions

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov downplayed the impact of EU and UK sanctions against the Russian diamond trade.

“As practice shows with other merchandise, with other products. If they stop buying from one place, they start buying from another. There are no loopholes in this, ”he declared in his daily press conference.

According to the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, “the world market is very mobile and rich in alternative directions”.

Likewise, Canada plans to announce sanctions against 17 individuals and 18 Russian companies that provide the Kremlin with technology for military use, a Canadian official told the CBC, who announced that there will also be sanctions against 30 individuals for human rights violations.

“A just peace” includes the “complete withdrawal” of Russian troops

In the six-page joint communiqué, the idea of ​​achieving a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace” occupies a prominent place: it appeared as the second of the eleven sections of the brief.

Specifically, the G7 considered that a “just peace” cannot be achieved without the “complete and unconditional withdrawal” of Russian troops, although as on other occasions the group avoided specifically committing to Ukraine’s recovery of Russian-occupied territories. like the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

The G7 leaders, however, reaffirmed their commitment to the approaches to achieving peace made by the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky.

Historical and emotional visit

The G7 leaders staged their rejection of the use of nuclear weapons during their visit to Hiroshima, the first city to suffer the horrors of an atomic bombing before the start of the summit.

The leaders of the Group of Seven visited the Hiroshima Peace Museum and Park (western Japan) together for the first time, before kicking off the 49th summit of this forum in this Japanese city.

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The leaders of the G7 summit in Hiroshima. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Frank Robichon

The Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, wants nuclear disarmament to be one of the major themes of the summit, in which he acts as host, and to this end he guided his G7 colleagues through the facilities dedicated to paying tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people who perished in the bomb dropped by the United States on the city on August 6, 1945.

Kishida spent more time during the visit conversing with US President Joe Biden and receiving nods from French President Emmanuel Macron before all leaders paid their respects silently and bowed before the epitaph dedicated to the deceased.

Especially excited were British leader Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, while Biden remained serious throughout the event. The current occupant of the Oval Office is the second serving president of the United States to visit the Peace Museum and Park after Barack Obama did so in 2016.

Keiko Ogura, Hiroshima bomb survivor

World leaders also met with a hibakusha (survivor) from Hiroshima, Keiko Ogura, 85, who was eight when the tragedy struck.

Ogura has dedicated most of his life to spreading his tragic experiences of the nuclear attack and has narrated how that day the city became “a sea of ​​fire” where figures that looked like ghosts moved trying to leave it.

The G7 leaders plan to express in their joint declaration at the end of the summit their will to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, although the foreseeable lack of concrete measures towards this goal has been criticized by anti-nuclear organizations and by some voices in Japan, the country which is covered by the US nuclear “umbrella”.

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