Diamonds, oil, gas… G7 announces new sanctions against Russia

A quick decision and confirmation of support for Ukraine: a new round of sanctions against Russia was approved this Friday, 19 May, on the first day of the G7 summit. In a joint statement, the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada announced “measures to deny Russia the technologies, industrial equipment and services of the G7 that support its war enterprise”. . This includes banning the export of goods “essential to Russia on the battlefield,” as well as targeting entities accused of bringing materials to the front lines on their behalf.

The United Kingdom and the European Union previously announced sanctions on their imports of Russian diamonds, an industry that brings in several billion dollars a year for Moscow. “Russian diamonds are not forever,” quipped Charles Michel, president of the European Council.

These sanctions show that “the G7 remains united in the face of the threat from Russia and remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine”, declared British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, for his part.

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Zelensky is expected to visit the site later this week

There should also be another strong image later this week ahead of the conclusion of this Sunday’s G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to be there in person. “Very important things will be decided on the spot, and therefore the personal presence of our president is absolutely necessary to protect our interests,” said Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the Ukrainian Security Council.

In Japan, the Ukrainian president will be able to reiterate his request for fighter aircraft to better oppose Russian troops as a counter-offensive announced from the Kiev point of view, while returning to the European country on the possible delivery of American-made F-16s starting to discuss. Ball to Washington. He will also be able to try to persuade leaders of major powers invited by the G7, such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to play a greater role in favoring a political resolution. Volodymyr Zelensky has just completed a tour of several European countries, and the official program for the Hiroshima summit was initially provided for his intervention on Sunday by videoconferencing.

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China and nuclear disarmament on the agenda

The Ukrainian president is also expected to visit the Japanese city over the weekend, which in 1945 was subjected to the first atomic bombing in history and has since become a world symbol of peace.

A pilgrimage that other G7 leaders have already made on Friday afternoon. They also gathered at the Peace Memorial Park with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has family and political roots in Hiroshima. Together they paid tribute to the nearly 140,000 victims of the American atomic bomb of August 6, 1945. Joe Biden was the second US President to visit Hiroshima after Barack Obama in 2016.

The fruit of the Japanese Prime Minister’s efforts, this is the first time that a G7 summit has resulted in a declaration of leaders focusing on nuclear disarmament. After the talks he said that the rapid expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal is a “concern for global and regional stability”. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China has 350 nuclear warheads – far behind Russia (4,477) and the United States (3,708). But Beijing could have 1,500 by 2035, predicted a US Defense Department report in November.

The leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world “with little to no security for all”, pointing to the difficulty of achieving progress on nuclear disarmament in the current global security environment. The United States, the United Kingdom and France possess thousands of nuclear warheads, and the other G7 members, including Japan, are covered by the American “nuclear umbrella”.

In addition to Russia and Ukraine, the G7 agenda will also be dominated by China and the diversification of G7 countries’ supply chains to guard against the risk of “economic coercion” from Beijing. “We want to organize global supply, trade and investment relations in such a way that dependence on a few countries does not increase risks,” Chancellor Olaf said on Thursday, without mentioning China. However, France assured that it would be “not a G7 of confrontation” but a “G7 of cooperation and the need in relation to China”.

(with AFP)


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