G7 ends with unity against Russia, more money for Ukraine and loose ends

AFP

NOS NewsTuesday, 19:17

  • Charlotte Waaijers

    correspondent Germany

  • Charlotte Waaijers

    correspondent Germany

Arms around each other, jokes about Putin, host countries from all over the world: everything during the G7 summit in southern Germany was aimed at showing a united and broad front against Russia and other countries with a strong central authority. Concrete commitments were also made.

For example, after three days of meetings, the G7 countries pledged $4.5 billion today to fight famine worldwide. The food crisis has deepened further as a result of the war in Ukraine.

According to aid organization Oxfam, it is not enough, and the debts of poor countries should also be forgiven. “For every dollar of aid money, there is two dollars that low-income countries have to pay to creditors,” the organization said in a response.

The seven countries also want to set up a ‘climate club’ before the end of the year, a plan that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz presented earlier. This should include countries that want to be climate neutral by 2050 at the latest, and to which other countries can also join. The formation of a climate club should, among other things, prevent stricter climate rules in one country from leading to a relocation of industry to another country.

In recent days, there have been several protest actions near the summit. For example, protesters felt that the G7 countries are doing too little to combat climate change. That criticism was repeated today by environmental groups after the closure.

War in Ukraine

For example, $29.5 billion was pledged to close Ukraine’s rising budget deficit this year. Furthermore, the trade ministers of the countries involved are instructed to come up with other proposals as soon as possible that could support Ukraine economically, such as a suspension of tariffs on Ukrainian exports.

In the context of further sanctions against Russia, the intention to boycott Russian gold is the most concrete. To further increase the costs of this war for Russia, a maximum price for Russian oil has also been discussed. However, the countries did not reach an agreement on the elaboration of this measure.

‘Democracies of the future’

As chairman of the summit, Chancellor Scholz had invited five host countries that he believes will further expand their influence in the future: Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa. “It’s very important that we were able to discuss at eye level what democracies can do in this world. We show the great power of democratic alliances.”

The summit has sent a signal to Russia, the chancellor said. “We contradict the Russian narrative that this is a conflict where only the West condemns the attack and the world watches what Russia is actually doing there. It is not like that.”

The G7 countries also spoke with the host countries about the import of oil from Russia. Indonesia, India, Senegal and Vietnam have been consulted about investing in sustainable technologies, with financial support from the G7. Such agreements have already been made with South Africa.

Human Rights China

In the final statement of the G7 summit, the countries write that they are concerned about the human rights situation in China, partly because of the situation in Hong Kong, Tibet and the Xinjiang province. China is also being called upon to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, the seven countries are behind an American plan that should counterbalance the rapidly increasing influence of China worldwide. Large-scale investments in infrastructure through the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ enable Beijing to attract an increasing number of countries. In response, the G7 countries announced their intention to invest $600 billion over the next five years to close the “global investment gap.”

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