G7 nations announce Russia gold ban as summit kicks off under shadow of war

  • Gold ban targets ‘Putin’s war machine,’ says British PM
  • Oil import price cap also under discussion, says German source
  • The G7 also aims to tackle rising energy prices

SCHLOSS ELMAU, Germany, June 26 (Reuters) – Members of the Group of Seven wealthy nations announced a ban on Russian gold imports on Sunday as the G7 summit begins in the Bavarian Alps under the shadow of war in Ukraine and the consequences range from energy shortages to a food crisis.

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

“The measures we have announced today will directly affect Russia’s oligarchs 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 deprive the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.”

A senior representative of the US administration said the G7 would make an official announcement on the gold import ban on Tuesday. read more

“This is a key export, a key source of income for Russia in terms of its ability to transact with the global financial system,” the US official said.

Russian gold exports were worth 12.6 billion pounds ($15.45 billion) last year and wealthy Russians have been buying bullion to reduce the financial impact of Western sanctions, the British government said.

In addition to the gold import ban, G7 leaders were also having “really constructive” talks about a possible price cap on Russian oil imports, a German government source said. read more

UNITY MESSAGE

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

Rising global energy and food prices are weighing on 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 will also be on the agenda.

G7 leaders are expected to show a united front in supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes and increasing pressure on the Kremlin, though they will want to avoid sanctions that could stoke inflation and exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis affecting their country. own town.

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

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

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

Scholz promised a revolution in German foreign and defense policy after Russia’s invasion in February, vowing to strengthen the army and send weapons to Ukraine. But critics have since accused him of stalling and sending mixed messages.

GLOBAL PARTNERS

This year, Scholz has invited Senegal, Argentina, Indonesia, India and South Africa as partner countries at the summit.

“The summit must send the message not only that NATO and the G7 are more united than ever, but also that the world’s democracies are united against Putin’s imperialism, just as they are in the fight against hunger and poverty. Scholz told German. Parliament this week.

Many countries in the global south are concerned about collateral damage from Western sanctions.

An EU official said the G7 countries would convince partner countries that the food price spikes hitting them were the result of Russia’s actions and that there were no targeted food sanctions. It was also a mistake to think of the Ukraine war as a local affair.

“It is more than this. It is questioning the order, the post-World War II order,” the official said.

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Reporting by Sarah Marsh, Andrea Shalal, Philip Blenkinsop, and William Schomberg Writing by Sarah Marsh and Matthias Williams Editing by Peter Graff and David Goodman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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