G-7 set to support measures to support Ukraine in the long term

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — Economic powers in the Group of Seven are poised to pledge long-term support for Ukraine as the United States prepares to announce the purchase of a ground-based missile system -advanced air for Kyiv. The leaders are also set to announce an agreement to pursue a cap on Russian oil prices, raise tariffs on Russian products and impose new sanctions on hundreds of officials and entities supporting the four-month war.

The leaders were finalizing the deal to seek a price cap at their three-day summit in the German Alps, where they spoke via video link with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The details of how a price cap will work, as well as its impact on the Russian economy, were to be worked out by G-7 finance ministers in the weeks and months to come, according to a senior administration official. on condition of anonymity. for an overview of announcements from the G-7 Leaders’ Summit.

The largest democratic economies will also pledge to raise tariffs on Russian imports into their countries, with the United States announcing new tariffs on 570 categories of goods, as well as the use of sanctions to target supply chains. defense of Russia that supported its rearmament efforts during the war. .

Biden is set to announce that the United States is providing an advanced surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine, along with additional artillery support, according to a person familiar with the matter, as part of the latest assistance to help the country defend itself against Russia. bloody invasion.

The United States is buying NASAMS, an anti-aircraft system developed by Norway, to provide medium and long range defense, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity. NASAMS is the same system used by the United States to protect sensitive airspace around the White House and the US Capitol in Washington.

The additional aid includes more ammunition for Ukrainian artillery, as well as counter-battery radars, to support its efforts against the Russian assault in Donbass, the person said. Biden is also announcing a $7.5 billion pledge to help the Ukrainian government meet its expenses, part of a withdrawal from the $40 billion military and economic aid package he signed into law. last month.

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, talks to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the official G7 group photo at Elmau Castle in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 26, 2022.

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

G-7 leaders began Monday’s session of their three-day summit with a focus on Ukraine. Later, they will be joined by leaders from five democratic emerging economies – India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina – for a discussion on climate change, energy and other questions.

The war in Ukraine was already at the forefront of G-7 leaders’ minds when they opened their summit at the secluded luxury Schloss Elmau hotel on Sunday – just as Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv for the first time. times for weeks.

Biden said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “expected, all along, that somehow NATO and the G-7 would split up, but we didn’t and we didn’t.” we’re not going to do it.” Britain’s Boris Johnson has warned leaders not to give in to “fatigue”.

Biden hopes to use his trip to Europe to proclaim the unity of the coalition that is pressing to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine as much as he is urging his allies to do even more – seeking to counter doubts about his staying power so that the war is in its fifth month.

The summit’s host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said last week he wanted to discuss the outlines of a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” with his G-7 counterparts, referring to the plan sponsored by the United States that helped revive European economies after World War II. .

With the war still going on and the destruction piling up day by day, it’s unlikely to be a detailed plan at this point. Scholz said that “the reconstruction of Ukraine will be a task for generations”.

The G-7 has already pledged to help fund Ukraine’s immediate needs. Group finance ministers agreed last month to provide $19.8 billion in economic aid to help Kyiv keep basic services functioning and prevent tight finances from hampering its defense against Russian forces .

A senior US administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations between G-7 leaders, said the US and Europe were aligned in their goals of an end negotiated part of the conflict, even if their roles sometimes seem different.

Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron tried to facilitate this through active conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskyy, while supplying arms to Ukraine. The United States has largely halted important talks with Russia and aims to build Ukraine’s battlefield capability as much as possible so that its eventual position at the negotiating table is stronger.

The endurance of tough sanctions against Russia may ultimately come down to whether the G-7 and other leaders can identify ways to alleviate energy supply problems and soaring prices once the winter has arrived, as they seek to disengage from Russian sources of fuel.

The G-7 meeting is sandwiched between a European Union summit last week that agreed to give Ukraine candidate status – kicking off a process that will likely take years with no guarantee of success – and a summit of NATO leaders starting Tuesday in Madrid.

The G-7 leaders – the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada and Japan – can hope to make progress by bringing their counterparts from their five guest countries closer to the views western countries on the sanctions against Russia.

Scholz is also eager to win over these countries for his idea of ​​a “climate club” for nations that want to move forward when it comes to tackling the problem.

Moulson reported from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

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