G7 steps up Russia sanctions, seeks to cut China trade dependency

  • Zelenskiy anticipated to arrive on Saturday night
  • G7 members agree to step up sanctions on Russia
  • G7 needs secure and constructive China ties -draft

HIROSHIMA, Japan, May 19 (Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s richest democracies agreed on Friday to stiffen sanctions in opposition to Russia, whereas a draft communique to be issued after their talks within the Japanese metropolis of Hiroshima harassed the necessity to scale back reliance on trade with China.

The Group of Seven (G7) leaders, who might be joined this weekend by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, pledged to prohibit any exports to Russia that might assist it in its 15-month-old invasion of Ukraine.

“This includes exports of industrial machinery, tools, and other technology that Russia uses to rebuild its war machine,” they stated in a joint assertion launched on Friday, including they might pursue strikes to restrict Russian revenues from trade in metals and diamonds.

On China, which G7 powers more and more see by way of a risk to financial safety, they had been to agree its standing because the world’s second-largest economic system meant it was mandatory to foster cooperation, an early draft of the ultimate communique seen by Reuters stated.

“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, we do not seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” famous the draft, which remains to be topic to change, calling for “stable and constructive” ties with Beijing.

But the draft nonetheless urged measures to “reduce excessive dependencies” in vital provide chains and counter “malign practices” in expertise switch and knowledge disclosure.

It reaffirmed the necessity for peace and stability within the Taiwan Strait and urged China to press Russia to finish its aggression in Ukraine.

The G7 – the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – will use the three-day assembly to debate technique on a Ukraine battle that reveals no signal of easing.

The summit venue, Hiroshima, was destroyed by U.S. nuclear bombings 78 years in the past that ended World War Two. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in Japan’s decrease home of parliament, stated he selected it for the worldwide gathering to focus consideration on arms management.

Russia’s threats of doable recourse to nuclear weapons, along with the nuclear programmes of North Korea and Iran, have all added to considerations about proliferation.

In the draft, G7 international locations – amongst them nuclear-armed France, Britain and the United States – expressed their “commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons” via a “realistic, pragmatic, and responsible approach”.


Having emerged because the world’s wealthiest nations after World War Two, the G7 democracies have grow to be more and more challenged by an ascendant China and unpredictable Russia.

Amid proof that present Russian sanctions are being weakened by circumvention, they stated the group was “engaging” with international locations via which any restricted G7 items, companies or expertise might transit via to Russia.

“We note and encourage commitments made by these countries to ensure our measures are not circumvented and have the intended effect,” they stated, with out naming any territories.

Breakdowns of German trade knowledge present its exports to international locations bordering Russia have risen sharply, fuelling considerations in regards to the re-exportation of products from these neighbours.

It was not instantly clear how a lot the brand new sanctions effort would have an effect on Russia, whose funds have already been squeezed by strikes to cut revenues from its huge vitality reserves.

“The wordings are quite open,” a senior EU diplomat stated of G7 language designed to accommodate completely different approaches by completely different international locations.

Ukraine has urged its Western allies to go even additional in isolating Russia, for instance by tightening loopholes within the monetary sector.

Separately, the U.S. administration added 71 entities to a trade blacklist and Britain revealed plans to ban imports of Russian diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel, though knowledge present Russia’s imports of these commodities had been already small.

Reflecting the EU view that wider diamond sanctions would solely shift Russia’s trade elsewhere from the established gem capital of Antwerp in Belgium, the G7 draft merely referred to doable strikes in the direction of future restrictive measures.

The G7 international locations reaffirmed their condemnation of Russian aggression and promised additional assist for Ukraine, by way of navy assist and monetary help for its war-shattered economic system this yr and subsequent.

Zelenskiy will attend on Sunday, two officers concerned within the G7 summit stated, declining to be recognized due to the difficulty’s sensitivity. He is anticipated to fly there on a French authorities jet after attending an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia.

The G7’s draft communique additional reaffirmed its purpose of net-zero emissions by 2050 on the newest, but in addition cited what it thought to be the continued function of liquefied pure gasoline as reliance on Russian vitality was diminished.

“Recognising the primary need to accelerate the clean energy transition, we stress the important role that increased deliveries of LNG can play,” the draft doc stated.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Susan Heavey, John Irish and Andreas Rinke; Editing by David Dolan and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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