While a draft declaration that will be released following their talks in the Japanese city of Hiroshima emphasized the need to lessen dependency on trade with China, leaders of the richest democracies in the world tightened sanctions against Russia.
The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7), who will be joined this weekend by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, agreed to impose export restrictions on goods that could aid Russian President Vladimir Putin in invading his neighbor and put an end to sanctions-busting.
“Today’s actions will further tighten the vice on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions.”Janet Yellen, US Treasury Department Secretary
The G7 leaders said in a statement that exports of industrial machinery, tools, and technology essential to Russia’s war effort would be subject to limitations, and that attempts would be made to reduce Russian profits from trade in metals and diamonds.
An early copy of the final statement, seen by Reuters, stated that they were to concur that measures should be made to encourage collaboration with China, which the G7 states increasingly perceive as a danger to economic security given its position as the second-largest economy in the world.
The document, which is still subject to revision, called for “stable and constructive” relations with Beijing and stated that “our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, we do not seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development.”
However, the report recommended actions to “reduce excessive dependencies” in crucial supply chains and combat “malign practices” in data disclosure and technology transfer.
The necessity for stability in the Taiwan Strait was emphasized, and China was asked to put pressure on Russia to stop its aggression in Ukraine.
The G7 nations—the United States, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada—will use the three-day gathering to discuss strategy for the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The summit’s location, Hiroshima, was obliterated by US nuclear strikes that ended World War Two 78 years ago. Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan and the member of parliament for Hiroshima, said he chose the city as the site of the international conference to draw attention to arms control.
Concerns over proliferation have increased as a result of Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons as well as Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear programs.
G7 countries expressed in the draft their “commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons” through a “realistic, pragmatic, and responsible approach,” among them nuclear-armed France, Britain, and the United States.
The G7 democracies, which became the richest countries in the world after World War Two, have come under increasing pressure from a rising China and an unpredictable Russia.
They said that the group was “engaging” with nations through which any prohibited G7 products, services, or technology may transit through to Russia in the face of evidence that existing Russian sanctions are being undermined by circumvention.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters that the goal is essentially to provide clarification to make circumvention more difficult. Although no specific nations were mentioned in the G7 statement, a second statement from the European Union claimed that it had urged central Asian states to be on the lookout for circumvention.
German exports to nations bordering Russia have increased significantly, according to data on German commerce, which has raised concerns about the re-exportation of items from those neighbors.
The impact of the current sanctions attempt on Russia’s finances, which have already been strained by efforts to reduce earnings from its enormous energy reserves, was not immediately obvious.
“The wordings are quite open,” said a Senior EU diplomat, referring to G7 terminology intended to accommodate various country approaches.
Ukraine has encouraged its Western allies to take additional measures to isolate Russia, such as closing financial sector loopholes.
DIAMONDS LEFT FOR LATER
Separately, despite statistics showing that Russia’s UK imports of those commodities were negligible, the US government put hundreds of organizations on a trade blacklist, and Britain unveiled proposals to forbid imports of Russian diamonds, copper, aluminum, and nickel.
The G7 draft barely alluded to potential steps toward future restrictive measures, reflecting the EU’s belief that broader diamond restrictions would only shift Russia’s commerce elsewhere from the well-established gem hub of Antwerp in Belgium.
Zelenskyy, who attended the Arab League conference in Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to arrive late on Saturday on a French aircraft.
He received additional military and financial support from G7 nations. According to a senior administration official, US President Joe Biden told other countries that he supported a cooperative initiative with partners to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.
According to one of the officials, training will take place in Europe and take months to complete. According to US sources, it will take 18 months to train new F-16 pilots and deliver the aircraft.
Despite the official’s failure to specify which nations will take part, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that the UK would cooperate with the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark “to get Ukraine the combat air capability it needs.”