G-7 may impose more sanctions on Russia

Kyodo News

Posted at May 14 2022 04:11 PM

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major developed nations are expected to say Saturday they are prepared to roll out additional economic sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine when they wrap up a three-day meeting in Germany.

The top diplomats from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, will also affirm their unity in support for the Ukrainian people and nearby nations hosting refugees, according to Japanese government officials.

A joint communique will be issued by them after the meeting held in Weissenhaus, northern Germany, the officials said.

Other issues discussed included how to deal with the war's repercussions such as energy and food security, they said. Russia, one of the world's leading oil and gas exporters, as well as Ukraine, is a major producer of grains such as wheat and corn.

The G-7 leaders stated Sunday their commitment to phasing out their dependency on Russian oil in their latest attempt to put more pressure on Moscow, which launched military attacks on Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The seven leading democracies have already implemented various punitive measures including freezing assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the country's central bank, along with excluding some major Russian lenders from a key international payment network known as SWIFT.

The foreign ministers' discussions also covered "China and the situation in the Indo-Pacific as well as in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East," according to Germany's Federal Foreign Office.

Japan has called on other G-7 nations to promote their cooperation in pursuit of a "free and open" Indo-Pacific, a vision advocated by Tokyo and Washington and widely seen as a counter to Beijing's growing military and economic influence in the region.

The meeting was intended to lay the groundwork for a G-7 summit scheduled for June 26 to 28 at Schloss Elmau, a castle resort in southern Germany.

The ministers of Ukraine and its neighbor Moldova, which has accepted a flood of refugees from the war-torn country, attended part of the discussions.

Moldova is concerned about the spillover effect of Russia's invasion on Transnistria, a pro-Moscow breakaway region in its eastern part bordering Ukraine.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi also joined part of the talks online, as the Southeast Asian nation hosts meetings this year of the Group of 20 major economies, which include Russia as well as China and the G-7 nations.