August 13, 2022

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The G7 countries announced a gold ban on Russia as the summit began in light of the war

The G7 countries announced a gold ban on Russia as the summit began in light of the war

  • Gold ban targets ‘Putin’s war machine’, says British PM
  • A ceiling on import oil prices is also being discussed, says a German source
  • The G7 also aims to tackle rising energy prices

Schloss Elmau, Germany (Reuters) – Members of the Group of Seven wealthy nations on Sunday announced a ban on Russian gold imports as the G7 summit began in the Bavarian Alps amid the war in Ukraine and its consequences ranging from energy shortages to a food crisis.

The move by Britain, the United States, Japan and Canada is part of efforts to tighten sanctions pressure on Moscow and cut off its means of financing the invasion of Ukraine after more than four months of a conflict that Russian President Vladimir Putin called a special military operation. .

“The measures we announced today will strike directly at the Russian oligarch and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

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“We need to starve the Putin regime of funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.”

A senior US administration representative said the G7 would make a formal announcement on the gold import ban on Tuesday. Read more

“This is a major export and a major source of revenue for Russia in terms of its ability to engage with the global financial system,” the US official said.

The British government said Russia’s gold exports were worth 12.6 billion pounds ($15.45 billion) last year and that wealthy Russians are buying bullion to reduce the financial impact of Western sanctions.

READ  EU bans Russian coal in new sanctions after Bucha massacre in Ukraine

A German government source said that in addition to banning gold imports, the G7 leaders had “really constructive” talks on setting a possible price ceiling for Russian oil imports. Read more

unit message

The three-day summit is taking place against a backdrop much darker than last year, when British, Canadian, French, German, Italian, Japanese and American leaders met for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soaring global energy and food prices are hurting economic growth in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine, with the United Nations warning of an “unprecedented global hunger crisis”. Read more

Climate change, an increasingly assertive China and the rise of authoritarianism are also set to be on the agenda.

The G7 leaders are expected to show a united front in support of Ukraine for as long as necessary and intensify pressure on the Kremlin, although they will want to avoid sanctions that could drive up inflation and exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis affecting their people.

“The main message from the G7 will be unity and coordination of action,” an EU official said.

The G7 leaders are also expected to discuss options to address rising energy prices and to replace Russian oil and gas imports.

The summit also provides an opportunity for German Chancellor Olaf Schulz to show more assertive leadership on the Ukraine crisis.

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Schultz vowed to revolutionize German foreign and defense policy after the Russian invasion in February, promising to strengthen the army and send weapons to Ukraine. But his critics have since accused him of dragging his feet and sending mixed messages.

global partners

This year, Schulz invited Senegal, Argentina, Indonesia, India and South Africa as partner countries to the summit.

“The summit should send not only the message that NATO and the G7 are more united than ever, but also that the democracies of the world stand together against Putin’s imperialism, just as they do in the fight against hunger and poverty,” Schulz told Germany. Parliament this week.

Many southern countries are concerned about the collateral damage from Western sanctions.

An EU official said the G7 nations would convince partner nations that the food price hikes they had hit were the result of Russia’s actions and that there were no sanctions targeting food. It was also a mistake to think of the Ukraine war as a domestic matter.

“It’s more than that,” the official said. “He’s questioning the system and the post-World War II order.”

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Additional reporting by Sarah Marsh, Andrea Shalal, Philip Blinkensop and William Schomberg.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.