Leaders of the Group of 7 nations pledged during a virtual meeting on Sunday with President Volodymyr Zelensky to ban or phase out Russian oil, aiming to still further erode Russia’s economic standing as it pursues its invasion of Ukraine.
The group did not provide details but said in a statement that the plans would be enforced in a “timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies.”
Oil bans are a two-edged sword. Oil is a top export for Russia, and Moscow would almost certainly sustain a big economic blow should it be banned, but parts of Europe are heavily dependent on its oil and thus are also vulnerable.
The United States, which imported a relatively small amount of energy resources from Russia, has already banned the import of Russian oil and gas.
The European Union, which gets about a quarter of its crude oil imports from Russia, has also announced plans for phasing out Russian oil, but is still in talks to formalize the decision. The bloc is too dependent on Russian gas to consider banning it in the short term, but has laid out plans to become progressively independent from it.
The G7 also said it would take steps to stop the provision of key services on which Russia depends and to toughen sanctions against the financial elites who support President Vladimir V. Putin, as well as their family members.
The White House also announced new sanctions on Sunday against three Russian state television outlets and said it would prohibit Americans from providing accounting or consulting services to anyone in Russia.
The Group of 7, which includes some of the world’s biggest economies, said that member nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — would also continue to provide billions of dollars in military aid and intelligence to Ukraine, which has helped the country thwart Russian forces.
During the meeting Sunday, Mr. Zelensky pleaded Ukraine’s case with the world leaders, saying his ultimate goal was to force the full withdrawal of Russia’s army.
The G7, in its statement, said member nations had assured Mr. Zelensky of their “continued readiness to undertake further commitments to help Ukraine secure its free and democratic future.”
The call took place on the day the G7 leaders commemorate the end of the Second World War and as Russia prepared for its annual celebration of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
“We remain united in our resolve that President Putin must not win his war against Ukraine,” the G7 statement said. “We owe it to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in the Second World War.”
The actions of Mr. Putin, it said, “bring shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people.”
Ahead of the call, the United Kingdom said it would offer an additional 1.3 billion pounds (about 1.6 billion dollars) in aid and military support to Ukraine. The new funding almost doubles the existing 1.5 billion pounds in support.
Source: NYT > Top Stories