Just as the G7 was underway for its first day of meetings on Sunday in the five-star hotel Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, Russia’s military pounded Kiev with a series of missile attacks, which President Joe Biden – who is attending in person – condemned as “more of their barbarism.”
Biden was asked by reporters whether he views the relatively rare Russian strikes on Ukraine’s capital as deliberately timed due to the summit, which he didn’t answer. Ukrainian officials say one person died and six were injured as a result of the attack.
“We have to stay together, because Putin has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G-7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to,” Biden said in remarks during a pre-summit meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
As The Guardian previews of what’s expected to be tackled between now and Tuesday, “A price cap on Russian oil, deferral of climate change commitments, a potential famine in Africa and the further supply of weapons to Ukraine are to crowd into a meeting of G7 world leaders over the next three days held against the backdrop of the biggest geopolitical crisis since 1945.” Further, CNN’s audience has been told “Putin will be watching if they fail.”
Going into the summit, the UK’s Boris Johnson urged a united front on Ukraine amid what he called a growing war “fatigue” among the Western populace. The G7 countries which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States have Ukraine and global economic fallout from the war as top of the agenda.
“Now is not the time to give up on Ukraine, they need the support and resolve of the G7 more than ever,” Johnson stated on Twitter. “The UK will continue to back Ukraine every step of the way because we know that their security is our security, and their freedom is our freedom.”
And Biden stated: “Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,” he announced on Twitter.
But it was EU chief Ursula von der Leyen who pledged indefinite G7 and European support to Ukraine:
“We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. The negative global impact of Russia’s war will be front and center of our exchanges at the G7.”
A draft G7 statement is also expressly stating perpetual support for Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion, according to a text of the draft seen by Bloomberg. It says:
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” according to the text of a draft statement on support for Ukraine. “As we do so, we commit to demonstrate global responsibility and solidarity through working to address the international impacts of Russia’s aggression, especially on the most vulnerable.”
At the same time the draft reportedly includes language of continuing to punish Russia, while using assets seized to further support Ukraine, per news wires.
G-7 DRAFT SAYS SEEK TO USE RUSSIA TARIFFS FOR UKRAINE SUPPORT
The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine.
Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 26, 2022
Bloomberg describes this as among “one of at least four that the G-7 leaders plan to publish alongside their traditional communique.”
And of course, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky will be giving a virtual address to the summit, wherein it’s expected he’ll press the Western countries to supply heavier weapons and in greater quantities.