G7 leaders impose new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine war

Group of Seven leaders have committed to phasing out dependency on Russian energy, including by banning imports of Russian oil.

The Group of Seven leaders have committed to phasing out dependency on Russian energy as they announced fresh sanctions as part of an “unprecedented” package of coordinated sanctions to reinforce Russia’s economic isolation over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The G7 – which unites the world’s seven wealthiest nations, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – has escalated a campaign against Russian elites who support President Vladimir Putin, whom the group accused of bringing “shame” on Russia’s historic sacrifice against Nazi Germany in World War II.

“We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies,” a G7 joint statement said.

“We will continue and elevate our campaign against the financial elites and family members, who support President Putin in his war effort and squander the resources of the Russian people,” the joint statement said.

The White House said the new sanctions will “hit hard at the main artery of Putin’s economy and deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war”.

After meeting virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the leaders said they would cut off key services on which Russia depends, reinforcing the isolation of Russia “across all sectors of its economy”.

Putin’s actions in Ukraine ‘bring shame on Russia’

The group expressed concern that the war was causing global economic disruptions, impacting the security of global energy supply, fertiliser and food provision, and the functioning of global supply chains.

“Together with the United Nations, we call on Russia to end its blockade and all other activities that further impede Ukrainian food production and exports, in line with its international commitments,” the statement said.

“Failure to do so will be seen as an attack on feeding the world.”

Additional measures include sanctions against three Russian television stations, the ban on the provision of accounting and consulting services to Russians, and the sanctioning of executives from Russia’s Gazprombank.

The measures levied against Gazprombank executives are not the first involving the bank, which is closely tied to the giant Russian gas exporter Gazprom. But the United States and its allies have avoided taking steps that might lead to disruptions of gas to Europe, Russia’s main customer.

“This is not a full block. We’re not freezing the assets of Gazprombank or prohibiting any transactions with Gazprombank,” a senior official from the administration of US President Joe Biden official told reporters.

“What we’re signalling is that Gazprombank is not a safe haven, and so we’re sanctioning some of their top business executives … to create a chilling effect.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the group saying “the world must go further and faster to support Ukraine,” his office said after the call.

“Ukraine needed to receive military equipment that allowed them to not just hold ground in Ukraine, but recapture it,” Johnson told the leaders.

The G7 meeting comes as Europe commemorates the end of World War II and Europe’s liberation from Nazism and fascism.

In its remarks, the G7 said that President Putin’s actions in Ukraine “bring shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people”.

The group’s leaders also reiterated their support for Zelenskyy, adding that the new measures were aimed at “strengthen[ing] Ukraine’s position on the battlefield and at the negotiating table”.

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