The leaders of the G7 countries set the tone for their summit in Bavaria, which was largely devoted to the war in Ukraine, by announcing on Sunday that they were expanding sanctions against Moscow and calling for unity.
It was the first signal of support for Ukraine at the meeting, which began at midday in the sumptuous setting of the Bavarian Alps. “Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban Russian gold, a major export source, which will deprive Russia of billions of dollars,” tweeted US President Joe Biden.
But the seven leaders were quick to address the priorities of this summit, which is being held until Tuesday against a backdrop of multiple crises: the war in Ukraine, threats to food and energy security and the climate emergency.
Anxious to send a strong signal of support to Kiev, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an embargo on Russian gold imports, even before the decision was formalised by the G7 as a whole.
This ban, which concerns gold newly mined in Russia, without targeting that already sold, will hit “Russian oligarchs directly and will attack the heart of Putin’s war machine”, assured Boris Johnson.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday warned French President Emmanuel Macron against tempting him to negotiate a solution “now” in Ukraine at the risk of prolonging “global instability”, Downing Street said.
At the G7, Washington launches a vast investment programme designed to counteract China
Joe Biden assured that this programme aimed at developing countries was based on “shared values” such as “transparency”, respect for workers’ rights, the environment, gender equality…
The project is supposed to counteract the huge projects financed by China in developing countries. At the initiative of the United States, on Sunday 26 June the G7 set in motion a vast investment programme for these developing countries.
“Together with our G7 partners, we aim to mobilise $600 billion [just under €570 billion] by 2027 for global infrastructure investment,” the White House said shortly before a speech by Joe Biden unveiling the proposal at the summit of seven industrialised countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), which was held in southern Germany.
The US President assured that this programme was based on “shared values” such as “transparency”, respect for workers’ rights, the environment and gender equality. “We are offering better options”, he commented. The US alone is promising to “mobilise” some “$200 billion” over five years.
Neither the US president nor the other leaders mentioned China by name, but there were obvious references to it. The West wants to distance itself from China, which has invested heavily in many developing countries, either to build infrastructure under the so-called New Silk Roads programme or to secure access to certain raw materials.
The Partnership for Global Infrastructure should “give the world a better deal on infrastructure investment”, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.