G7 countries agree new economic sanctions against Russia

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 08 2022 03:54 AM

Members of the Ukrainian military walk past destroyed Russian military machinery on a street in Bucha, the town retaken by the Ukrainian army, northwest of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 6, 2022. Hundreds of tortured and killed civilians have been found in Bucha and other parts of the Kyiv region after the Russian army retreated from those areas. Roman Pilipey, EPA-EFE
Members of the Ukrainian military walk past destroyed Russian military machinery on a street in Bucha, the town retaken by the Ukrainian army, northwest of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 6, 2022. Hundreds of tortured and killed civilians have been found in Bucha and other parts of the Kyiv region after the Russian army retreated from those areas. Roman Pilipey, EPA-EFE

The Group of Seven industrialized nations slapped fresh sanctions on Russia Thursday following the "appalling atrocities by Russian armed forces" against civilians in Ukraine.

G7 leaders agreed to ban "new investments in key sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy sector", they said in a statement. 

Bans on the export of certain goods to Russia will be widened, as well as restrictions on goods from Russia, and the screws on Russian banks and state-owned companies will be tightened.

Russia's defense sector will be targeted to "erode the capabilities of the Russian military to wage war".

They also pledged to "elevate our campaign against the elites and their family members who support President Putin in his war effort".

While stopping short of a full embargo on energy imports, the G7 said they will "expedite" plans to slash reliance on Russian fossil fuels. 

Russian coal will be phased out and eventually banned, they said, pledging to also accelerate action to reduce dependency on Russian oil. 

Earlier Thursday, G7 foreign ministers had called on the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council over "heinous acts and atrocities" in Ukraine. 

Of the 193 members of the assembly, 93 subsequently voted in favor of suspension while 24 voted against and 58 abstained, suggesting weakening international unity against Russia.

The countries voting against included China, a Moscow ally which has steadfastly abstained from criticizing the invasion.