Biden urges Western nations to continue supporting Ukraine as they face ‘economic challenges’

  • Biden praised the Western response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the G7 meeting.
  • “We have to make sure that we all stay together,” Biden said.
  • He added that he is confident that Western nations will overcome economic challenges.

ELMAU, Germany – President Joe Biden on Sunday praised the continued unity of the global alliance facing Russia, as he and other heads of the Group of Seven leading economies strategized to keep up the pressure in their effort to isolate Moscow during their months-long invasion. Ukraine.

Biden and his counterparts met to discuss how to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, with the aim of preventing fallout from the war from dividing the global coalition working to punish Moscow. They were set to announce new bans on Russian gold imports, the latest in a series of sanctions that the club of democracies hopes will isolate Russia economically for its invasion of Ukraine.

The leaders also joined in a new global infrastructure partnership aimed at providing an alternative to Russian and Chinese investment in the developing world.

“We have to make sure that we all stay together,” Biden said during a pre-summit meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the rotating presidency of the G-7 and is hosting the meeting. “You know, we’re going to continue to work through the economic challenges that we’re facing, but I think we’ll get through all of this.”

Scholz responded that the “good message” is that “we all managed to stay united, which Putin never expected,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent his army across the border into Ukraine in late February.

“We have to stick together, because Putin has been counting, all along, that somehow NATO and the G-7 would split up, but we haven’t and we won’t,” Biden responded, as he and Scholz sat on a terrace overlooking the picturesque Bavarian Alps.

“We cannot allow this aggression to take the form it has and get away with it,” Biden added.

A senior Biden administration official said there was no extensive discussion of oil price caps at the president’s meeting with Scholtz. The two also did not have a detailed discussion about inflation.

However, both leaders agreed that there must be a negotiated solution to the Ukraine war, but did not go into specific details on how to achieve it, the official said.

Hours before the formal opening of the summit, Russia launched missile attacks on the Ukrainian capital, hitting at least two residential buildings, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. They were the first such attacks by Russia in three weeks.

Biden condemned Russia’s actions as “more of his barbarism.”

Other leaders echoed Biden’s praise for the coalition’s unity.

The head of the European Union council of governments said the 27-member bloc maintains “unbreakable unity” in backing Ukraine against Russia’s invasion with money and political support, but “Ukraine needs more and we are committed to providing more “.

European Council President Charles Michel said EU governments were ready to provide “more military support, more financial means and more political support” to allow Ukraine to defend itself and “stop Russia’s ability to wage war”. “.

The EU has imposed six rounds of sanctions against Russia, the latest of which is a 90% ban on imports of Russian crude oil by the end of the year. The move targets a mainstay of the Kremlin’s finances, its oil and gas revenues.

Biden and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as the EU, spent Sunday in formal and informal settings, including working sessions on the effects of the war on the global economy, including inflation. , and in infrastructure.

Biden, who arrived in Germany early Sunday, said the G-7 nations, including the United States, will ban gold imports from Russia. A formal announcement was expected Tuesday as the leaders hold their annual summit.

Senior Biden administration officials said gold is Moscow’s second-biggest export after energy, and banning such imports would make it harder for Russia to participate in global markets.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the ban “will hit Russian oligarchs directly and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.”

“Putin is wasting his meager resources on this senseless and barbaric war. He is financing his ego at the expense of the Ukrainian and Russian people,” Johnson said. “We need to deprive the Putin regime of financing him.”

Gold, in recent years, has been Russia’s top export after energy, reaching nearly $19 billion or about 5% of global gold exports, in 2020, according to the White House.

Of Russia’s gold exports, 90% went to the G-7 countries. More than 90% of those exports, or nearly $17 billion, went to the UK. The United States imported less than $200 million worth of gold from Russia in 2019 and less than $1 million in 2020 and 2021.

Among the issues to be discussed are energy price caps, which are aimed at limiting Russian profits from oil and gas that Moscow can inject into its war effort. The idea has been championed by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Michel said price caps on Russian oil imports were being discussed. But he said “we want to get into the details, we want to fine-tune … to make sure we have a clear common understanding of what the direct effects are and what the collateral consequences might be” if that step were taken. be taken by the group.

The leaders also discussed how to uphold commitments that address climate change while addressing critical energy supply needs caused by the war.

“Climate commitments are not watered down,” John Kirby, a spokesman for Biden’s National Security Council, said Saturday as the president flew to Germany.

Biden is also set to formally launch a global infrastructure partnership designed to counter China’s influence in the developing world. He called it “Building Back a Better World” and presented the program at last year’s G7 summit.

Biden and other leaders will announce the first projects that will benefit from what the US sees as an “alternative to infrastructure models that sell debt traps to low- and middle-income country partners,” Kirby said. The projects are also supposed to help improve America’s economic competitiveness and our national security,” she said.

After the G-7 summit concludes on Tuesday, Biden will travel to Madrid for a summit of the leaders of the 30 NATO members to align strategy on the war in Ukraine.


Superville reported from Telfs, Austria. Associated Press writers Jill Lawless in London and Geir Moulson in Elmau, Germany, contributed to this report.

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