The G-7 agrees to increase pressure on Russia and issues warnings to China | International

The conclusions of the annual G-7 summit held since Sunday in the German town of Elmau are the portrait of a world order in a state of dangerous upheaval. The leaders of the great industrialized democracies took advantage of the meeting to fine-tune their strategy in the face of the Russian war in Ukraine. In that sense, they agreed to explore ways to establish limits on the price of Russian crude, a change from the unsatisfactory strategies used so far. But Tuesday’s final statement also reserves a wide range of warnings for China regarding its influence-projection activities in Southeast Asia, its economic practices and its treatment of the Uyghur minority. They also demand that Beijing put pressure on Moscow to stop its war. Taken together, the findings describe a world that is increasingly polarized between the democracies and the authoritarian core of Russia and China.

Compared to Russia, the most innovative aspect is the willingness to explore a mechanism to cap the price of crude oil, a complex task, to which the Seven invite other countries to join. The realization of a dynamic whereby, with the current sanctions, Russia continues to achieve high incomes while prices run amok for consumers has led to the turnaround. The mechanism will study ways to maximize its operation, including prohibiting the use of Western financial, transport or insurance services for those who do not respect the cap.

The summit has showcased other initiatives to increase pressure on Russia, such as the forthcoming delivery by the US of advanced medium-long-range anti-aircraft defense systems, a type of weaponry with greater strategic significance compared to that supplied up to now, or the willingness expressed by various members of the G-7 to establish a ban on imports of Russian gold, another significant source of income for Moscow.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted that sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime will last as long as necessary. “All the ones we imposed after Crimea are still there. Those that followed the Russian-instigated uprising in Donbas are still there. And the same will happen with those we take now, which are much more serious. “There is only one way out: for Putin to accept that his plans in Ukraine will not succeed,” he assured this Tuesday in a closing appearance at the summit.

The meeting of the seven major democratic powers in the castle of Elmau, in the Bavarian Alps, has closed with “a message of unity”, stressed Scholz, the host of the meeting, in the face of Putin’s “brutal war”. In the same way that the sanctions will be increased and maintained over time, support for Ukraine will also be “unlimited”, assured the foreign minister, who began his speech by condemning the Russian missile attack on a shopping center in Ukraine on Monday. The G-7 leaders will continue speaking from tomorrow at the NATO summit in Madrid, where they are traveling directly from this mountainous spot in Bavaria near the Austrian border. US President Joe Biden left earlier than planned and before the last plenary session to avoid bad weather. The rain began to fall during Scholz’s press conference, held on a meadow with Elmau Castle in the background.

world food crisis

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The consequences of the war are destabilizing the world in multiple ways, including a disturbing global food crisis. The G-7 countries have announced a disbursement of 4,200 million euros to support the segments of the world population most affected by rising prices and product shortages. The large industrialized democracies also expressed their intention to strengthen the production of fertilizers, another product whose market has been altered by the conflict.

The food section is one aspect of a summit focused largely on the global consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The final document is expected to capture the consensus among the Seven to attempt a shift in the strategy of energy sanctions, seeking to activate mechanisms that limit the price of Russian crude oil and gas. The application of these measures will, however, require complicated technical studies. The G-7 will invite other countries to voluntarily join the project and will try to shape pressure systems so that the caps are met in the broadest possible way, linking the use of Western financial, transport or insurance services to respect for those boundaries.

Reproaches to Peking

However, despite the absolute centrality of the Ukrainian emergency, the Seven do not lose sight of the challenge represented by the rise of China. The final statement contains an eloquent series of reproaches and warnings to Beijing.

The G-7 calls on Beijing to refrain from intimidation, threats and the use of force in its region; warns you that it will work to counteract what it considers to be market-distorting practices; calls to respect human rights in the Chinese regions of Xinjiang and Tibet; and demands that China align itself with the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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