G-7 leaders mark RE Day and emphasize unity, support for Ukraine

Leaders of the group of seven developed democracies on Sunday vowed to phase out or ban the import of Russian oil when they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for online talks to emphasize their support and to show unity among Western allies on Europe’s Victory Day. , which marks the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.

Cutting off Russian oil supplies “will hit the main artery of (President Vladimir) Putin’s economy hard and deny him the revenue he needs to finance his war,” the G-7 countries, which include the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, France and Italy and Japan, said in a statement.

“We want to make sure we do it in a timely and proper manner and in ways that give the world time to secure alternative supplies,” they added.

Looking back on World War II, the leaders emphasized unity in their decision that Putin should not win.

“We owe it to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in World War II to continue to fight for it today, for the people of Ukraine, Europe and the global community,” they said.

US President Joe Biden’s call to the G-7 leaders and Zelenskyy lasted about an hour.

The United States also announced new sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. They include cutting off Western commercials from Russia’s three largest television stations, banning US accounting and consulting firms from providing services to any Russian, and imposing further restrictions on Russia’s industrial sector, including cutting Moscow off wood products, industrial engines, boilers, bulldozers and more. .

The White House announced the new sanctions ahead of Victory Day on May 9, when Russia traditionally celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 with huge military parades.

Putin is expected to speak on what he calls his special military operation in Ukraine and speak to troops in Red Square on Monday.

The US and European allies tried to offer a counter-offer that Putin further isolate Russia from the rest of the world and do enormous damage to the Russian economy.

The new round of US sanctions will hit three of Russia’s most popular TV stations in Russia – Channel One Russia, Russia-1 and NTV – which the US has said has been at the forefront of spreading misinformation about Russia’s prosecution of the invasion.

The Biden administration said the new sanctions banning U.S. accounting and consulting firms from doing business in Russia would help prevent Russian companies and elites from getting help to blur their wealth and avoid an avalanche of sanctions already in place. has been adopted.

The United States also said it imposed some 2,600 visa restrictions on Russian and Belarusian officials and issued a new visa restriction policy applicable to Russian military officials and authorities.

The United States sanctioned 27 executives from Gazprombank, a bank that facilitates the sale of Russia’s Gazprom, one of the largest natural gas exporters in the world, to Europe. The sanctions are the first time the US has hit the bank that plays a crucial role in Russia’s significant gas exports, but the move stops far from the full blocking sanctions that the US has hit other major Russian banks.

Prior to the call, British officials said Britain would provide an additional 1.3 billion pounds ($ 1.6 billion) in military support to Ukraine to help the nation defend itself against Russian forces.

The funding, which comes from the British government’s reserves, includes £ 300 million military kits promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week, such as radar systems to target Russian artillery, GPS jamming equipment and night-vision devices.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a surprise visit to Ukraine on Sunday, touring the northern city of Irpin, which had been badly damaged by Russia’s attempts to occupy the capital Kiev at the start of the war. The mayor on Sunday posted photos of Trudeau on social media, saying the Canadian leader was shocked by the damage he saw in civilian homes.

Trudeau’s office later said, “The Prime Minister is in Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support for the Ukrainian people.”

Jill Biden also paid an unannounced visit on Sunday and held a surprising Mother’s Day meeting in western Ukraine with First Lady Olena Zelenska. Biden traveled under the guise of secrecy and became the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during his 10-week-old war with Russia.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” the American first lady told Zelenska. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war must stop, and this war has been brutal, and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a televised speech that Sunday was “a May 8 like no other.”

He said Germany had worked hard to face its actions during World War II, reconciled with both Russia and Ukraine and committed to the concept of “never again.” But Russia’s “barbaric” invasion of Ukraine in February has brought the war back to Europe, Scholz said, a prospect that once seemed unthinkable.

“Freedom and security will prevail – just as freedom and security prevailed over the lack of freedom, violence and dictatorship 77 years ago,” Scholz said in his speech.

German Federal President Bärbel Bas, the second highest-ranking German official after the president, met with Zelenskyy in Kiev on Sunday and attended a memorial service in honor of the anniversary of the end of World War II.

“We really appreciate that the President of the German Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, on the day of remembrance and reconciliation, and in what for us is such a trying time of war, came to support Ukraine,” said a notice published Sunday on Zelenskyys Telegram channel. .

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