G7 leaders threaten Russia with new Ukraine sanctions

Jun 5, 2014

First meeting of G7 leaders since Putin was expelled is focused on world economy and climate change

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The G7 group of industrialised nations, meeting in Brussels today, has warned Russia that it is prepared to impose further sanctions in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea, and other disputed actions in the east of Ukraine.

It is the first time the leaders of the seven countries – and of their central banks – have met without their Russian counterparts, who were thrown out for the "continuing violation" of Ukraine's sovereignty, the BBC reports. So what else is on the agenda?

Which nations form the G7 now?
The group now consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA and the UK. Russia has not formally been expelled – but the other nations decided in late March to "suspend" the G8 format, moving a planned summit from Sochi, Russia, to Brussels. One foreign minister told the FT then that "in the long term we want Russia to be part of the group".

What happened yesterday?
The summit started last night with a working dinner at which leaders agreed they would warn Russia of fresh sanctions. Speaking to the press beforehand, Barack Obama accused Vladimir Putin of reviving the "dark tactics" of Russia's past, The Independent said. Last night, Germany’s Angela Merkel warned of the "possibility" of "heavier sanctions" but French president Francois Hollande was more conciliatory, saying the necessary conditions were there for Russia to "de-escalate" the crisis.

What are they discussing today?
Ukraine is not a formal part of today’s agenda, which is dominated by the global economic outlook, climate change strategies and development issues, according to the BBC.

Is anybody speaking to Putin?
Yes – the Russian premier will hold face-to-face meetings with Merkel, Hollande and David Cameron in the next few days. He has been invited by Hollande to attend commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, where he will stand alongside Obama. Also present at the ceremony will be Ukraine’s president-elect, the billionaire sweet manufacturer Petro Poroshenko, who said he did not rule out a meeting with Putin.

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G7 sanctions on Russia are too light.

There has been a lot of political rehetoric from G7 leaders while at the same time industries in these countries continue to do business with Russia.

Major factor pushing Russia into a recession is the huge capital flight. The European Central Bank says as much as €160 billion has fled Russia since the Ukrainian crisis erupted in November 2013. The combination of capital flight plus the lack of interest from western investors to invest in Russia has created a capital shortfall.

To avoid deeper and wider sanctions Putin has pulled back some of the 40,000 Russian troops from the Ukraine border BUT has arranged for Chechen, Cossacks, Crimean and other Russian mercenaries to cross into eastern Ukraine to direct and support the pro-Russian rebels. Russian Vostok Battalion would not be in the eastern Ukraine without the full knowledge and blessing of Putin. It is clearly a Russian invasion by proxy.

Putin is counting on that his clandestine war will not trigger additional G 7 sanctions and this strategy appears to be working as the G7 has naively elected not to impose a 3rd level of sanctions.

For the G7 to take the pressure off Putin is a HUGE mistake - he will do nothing to block the inflow of Russian mercenaries and arms into eastern Ukraine - Putin will talk peace while his proxies continue to tear eastern Ukraine apart.

G7 needs to defend the Ukraine NOW while they can before Putin takes over the eastern regions in addition to the Crimea.

Moore, Garry R - Solutions Inc

“G7 leaders threaten Russia with new Ukraine sanctions”. The G7 is “The Story of Doctor Dolittle”. Mr. Obama talking to the Taliban and not Russia, Mr.Abe not talking to China, Fr. Merkel not talking to the AfD, Mr. Cameron not talking to Argentina and Spain. Mr. Renzi not talking to the Lega Nord. Maybe they can talk to the animals.