G7 countries pledge to step up sanctions against Russia so that it cannot evade them and use imported materials for its military industry.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is to attend the G7 summit in person on Sunday, and the United States seeks to leverage the green economy ro reduce the global reliance on China and Russia. Meanwhile, U.S. Democrats ask Joe Biden to save the country from the risks of debt default.
offers a digest of Western mass media at the end of the May 15–19, 2023, business week.
New sanctions against Russia: What the G7 promises
The United Kingdom and other Group of Seven countries announced new sanctions against Russia, The Guardian reported.
Flying into Hiroshima for the three-day gathering of world leaders, British prime minister Rishi Sunak announced a U.K. ban on imports of Russian:
Other G7 members expected to follow suit.
Britain also set out sanctions targeting another 86 individuals and firms linked to Putin, taking the total U.K. sanctions list to more than 1,500.
Those newly sanctioned are from the Russian military industrial complex, as well as some who are involved in key economic areas including energy, metals and shipping.
According to Sunak, his key task at the G7 summit is to put pressure on leaders who have remained neutral over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, notably the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian president.
"Ensuring Ukraine wins is the most important thing we can do for global peace and security. We are banning all imports of Russian diamonds, copper, aluminum and nickel. Sanctions are having a clear impact in degrading Putin’s war effort. The G7 stands united with Ukraine," Sunak emphasized.
What new sanctions against Russia the U.S. promised
The U.S. also promised fresh sanctions at the G7 summit aimed at:
- disrupting Russia’s ability to get materials it needs for the battlefield;
- closing loopholes used to evade previous sanctions;
- reducing international reliance on Russian energy;
- narrowing Moscow’s access to the international financial system.
The new U.S. sanctions, according to The Guardian, would cut off roughly 70 entities from Russia and other countries from receiving U.S. exports.
There will also be upwards of 300 new sanctions against individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft, a U.S. official said.
The China controversy: the European Union and the United States disagreed
Washington expected that G7 leaders would issue a statement with a section specific to China, listing issues that included "economic coercion and other behavior".
However, disagreements on how to address China’s growing global influence could overshadow the summit.
A senior French official warned that the three-day meeting should not have turned into an "anti-Chinese G7".
Charles Michel, the European Council president, said it was in the EU’s interest to maintain "stable and constructive" cooperation with China, adding that the bloc would call on China to step up pressure on Russia to end its military aggression in Ukraine.
Заява G7 та візити Зеленського
The leaders of the G7 countries (the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada) issued a statement ahead of the summit to support Ukraine, The Guardian reports. They strongly condemned Russia’s war of aggression and its impact on the rest of the world (namely, access to food and energy).
G7 leaders reaffirmed that their support for Ukraine would not waver and pledged to mitigate the impact of Russia’s war on the rest of the world.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy will arrive in Japan in person to attend the G7 summit on Sunday, May 21, according to Oleksis Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council. He said that on Sunday, the leaders of the Group of Seven were to decide very important issues for Kyiv (meaning sanctions and further defense assistance for Ukraine).
"The presence of our president is absolutely essential in order to defend our interests," the secretary explained.
On Friday, May 19, Zelenskyy arrived in Jeddah to attend the Arab League summit, where he is to present the Ukrainian peace formula, DW reports.
Zelenskyy traveled on a French government plane, which would later take him to Hiroshima.
Green economy against Russia and China
According to The New York Times, as Joe Biden and other leaders of the G7 meet in Hiroshima, they will also discuss coordinated public investment in the green economy to reduce their reliance on Russia and China.
The legislation adopted at the initiative of the Biden administration enables trillions of dollars of investment in American industrial capacity, including subsidies for electric vehicles, batteries, wind farms, solar plants, and much more.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed in the United States in 2022 secured state support for the country’s own clean energy and semiconductors, but also put unwelcome pressure on competing industries in allied countries.
In recent months, however, the United States has expanded this act to include battery materials made in Japan and also negotiates a similar agreement with the European Union.
"This clean-tech race is an opportunity to go faster and further, together. Now that the G7 are in this race together, our competition should create additional manufacturing capacity and not come at each other’s expense," said Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.
The risks of debt default in the U.S.: what Democrats offer
According to Reuters,a group of U.S. Senate Democrats called on President Joe Biden to prepare to invoke the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment to avoid a debt default if negotiations with Republicans fail.
The 11 legislatures claimed that Republicans in Congress were "not acting in good faith."
According to them, Using this authority would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills on-time, without delay, "preventing a global catastrophe".
Biden is continuing negotiations with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy during his trip to the G7 Summit .
The U.S. Treasury has said the government could start running out of funds if the agreement to lift the debt ceiling is not reached by June 1.