G-7 to announce sanctions against Russia; Zelenskyy should fly to Japan


The Group of Seven summit will be held in Hiroshima, Japan, from May 19-22.

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The Group of Seven leaders are expected to introduce a set of measures to increase pressure on Russia as its invasion of Ukraine continues for a second year.

G-7 leaders are in Hiroshima, Japan, for a three-day meeting to discuss international trade and security as the United States and China battle for influence in a multipolar world amid the concerns about their decoupling, and as the war in Ukraine continues.

A senior US administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said early Friday morning that the government planned to introduce measures to “economically isolate” Russia in order to weaken its ability to war.

“We will continue to expand export controls to make it even more difficult for Russia to maintain its war machine,” the senior official told reporters, stressing that “the US government’s commitment to continue to tighten screw to Russia remains as strong as it was last year.”

Discussions on the scope of sanctions against Russia will be underway as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to travel to Japan to attend the G-7 summit on Sunday, according to the FinancialTimes.

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The US official added that all G-7 members are preparing to implement a new batch of export controls. This will include the addition of 70 entities to the US Trade Blacklist and over 300 new sanctions against individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft.

“These will attack financial enablers, as well as the future energy and extractive capabilities of Russia and other actors helping to support the war,” the official said, adding that the sanctions would extend to the Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Prohibited diamonds

These developments occur in the UK separately imposed more sanctions on Russia under legislation to be introduced later this year.

“The UK today announces a ban on Russian diamonds, an industry worth $4 billion in exports in 2021, as well as imports of copper, aluminum and nickel of Russian origin” , Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said in a statement on Friday.

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking to political journalists aboard a government plane as he travels to Japan to attend the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, May 17, 2023.

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“As today’s sanctions announcements demonstrate, the G7 remains unified in the face of the threat from Russia and steadfast in its support for Ukraine,” Sunak said.

“Minimal impact”

However, further efforts to squeeze Russia’s economy are unlikely to have a significant impact, according to the George Washington University international affairs research professor, Robert Orttung.

“The new restrictive sanctions against Russia will have a minimal impact on world trade. None of these measures are likely to cause Russia to stop its war against Ukraine since Putin is fully committed to it and the sanctions do not harm not to Russia’s ability to operate on a day-to-day basis,” he said in an email.

“Since China and India are not participating in the sanctions, Russia still has many trading partners,” he added.

Orttung noted that measures to increase economic pressure on Russia would be symbolically significant when combined with significant military aid to Ukraine.

“The most useful result for world trade will be the end of the war that prevents Russia from continuing its aggression,” he said.

“Anything the West can do to increase Ukraine’s combat capability and weaken Russia brings us closer to that goal.”

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