The first day of the G7 summit, held in Germany’s Alps, on Sunday (26), resulted in the publication of a six-page “support for Ukraine” document and also the release of information on an infrastructure plan for the bloc that seeks to to stand up to a similar initiative by China, the Belt and Road Initiative.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended the event by videoconference and said it was not time to negotiate with the Russians, according to news agencies.
The leaders of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan have reinforced their support for what they see as the “courageous defense” of Ukraine, and said they did not recognize Russia’s attempts to “redraw borders by force”.
The text of the declaration, which can be viewed in full (in English) in this linkpresents the calculation that US$ 29.5 billion (R$ 153 billion) “budget support” have already been delivered or promised to Kiev.
On the topic of sanctions, the joint declaration of the G7 defends that the richest countries that are part of the bloc will continue to provide assistance to the global economy to “help mitigate the effects” of the current situation, especially in middle and low-income countries. That’s because sanctions against Russian energy and disruptions to the flow of food trade are one of the factors driving the inflationary crisis observed in different parts of the world on essential items such as wheat and oil.
“We are committed to sustaining and intensifying international economic and political pressure on the President’s regime. [Vladimir] Putin and his facilitators in Belarus, depriving Russia of the economic means to persist in its war of aggression against Ukraine, and we will continue our targeted use of coordinated sanctions as long as it takes, acting in unison at all stages”, the G7 reported.
“The G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that brings in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,” US President Joe Biden said.
In April, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after visiting Ukraine that the US goal is to see a “Russia weakened to the point where it cannot do the sort of thing it did in invading Ukraine”. More than $6.1 billion in “security assistance” has been sent by the United States to Ukraine since the start of the war, according to the US Department of Defense. The latest military aid package includes eight military vessels.
On the Russian side, Vladimir Putin’s presidential adviser, Yury Ushakov, said on Monday that it was “too early” to comment on the G7 results and that he could talk about the results of the BRICS summit held last week. , according to information from the Tass news agency.
Advance in competition with China
The G7 countries also announced the launch of a global infrastructure investment plan for developing countries. The announcement parallels a similar program adopted by China, the Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the New Silk Road. The European Union also has a similar program, formalized in December 2021.
Biden said one of the goals of the new program, dubbed “Collaboration for Global Infrastructure and Investment,” is to demonstrate the “concrete benefits” of partnering with “democracies.”
According to the White House, investments are planned in energy transition, nuclear energy, vaccine manufacturing, construction of hospitals in Côte d’Ivoire, expansion of the 5G connection with “trusted sellers”. This is an industry where Chinese companies have a technological advantage. In the US plan, an undersea internet cable will be built that will connect Singapore to France via Egypt and the Horn of Africa.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said of the G7 plan that Beijing “welcomes all initiatives that help build global infrastructure.”
“However, we oppose statements and actions that promote geopolitical calculations and defame the Belt and Road Initiative under the guise of building infrastructure,” the Chinese diplomat said.
Under the presidency of Germany, this year’s G7 ends on Tuesday (28).
Editing: Arturo Hartmann