Monday, July 4, 2022

G7 considers support for Ukraine despite darkening economic outlook

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The Group of Seven Rich Democracies will seek to demonstrate their long-term support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression at a summit starting on Sunday.

Leaders of the U.S., Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan, will discuss how to tighten the screws on Kremlin, as the war’s growing impact on the world economy tests their resolve.

The three-day summit will hold at Schloss Elmau, a luxury hotel in a Bavarian mountain valley.

As the war drags into its fifth month, they will be wary of any sanctions that could further darken the global economic outlook.

The conflict has already created food and energy shortages that are stoking inflation and global hunger.

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Rising prices are hitting the global south particularly, hard, where countries are already struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crises.

Speaking ahead of the back-to-back European Union, G7 and NATO summits, German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, told the German parliament on Wednesday that the task was greater than sending the message that the West was as united “as never before”.

Scholz said the summits must also show “that the democracies of the world were standing together in the fight against Putin’s imperialism, as well as in the fight against hunger, poverty, health crises and climate change.

He warned that if the West did not show solidarity with the countries of the global south – many of which have criticised Western sanctions – Russia and China would benefit.

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A German official said finding a new approach to China that reflected human rights concerns, supply chain problems and the often negative impact of its global investments, would play a “very big role” at the summit.

A senior U.S. official also said the G7 leaders would launch a new infrastructure initiative aimed at offering low- and middle-income countries high-quality, transparent investments.

Nearly 20,000 police officers have been deployed to ensure security at the summit.

The G7 was founded in 1975 as a forum for the richest nations to discuss crises such as the OPEC oil embargo.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, has never been a member of the G7.

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Reuters/NAN

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