The Group of Seven, a club of powerful countries made up of France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and the United States, commonly known as the G7, announced a joint commitment to end their dependence on Russian oil imports and to amplify other sanctions in an effort to cripple Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now going into its third month.
Leaders from the seven countries met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, May 8th. They then issued a joint statement of solidarity with Ukraine and a promise of more sanctions to come. Powerful western countries across the North Atlantic have already taken strong measures against Russia, such as cutting off Russian banks from the international money transfer system SWIFT. Many, particularly some European countries, have also been scrambling to find alternative sources of the most important of Russian exports: oil and gas. Only now though, as it becomes clear that Russia is not buckling under the previous sanctions, have countries begun to put the most serious sanctions on the table, those that touch on Russia’s energy empire.
On the heels of the European Union’s discussions of an embargo on Russian oil, the G7’s public statement announced: “First, we commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil.”
The countries further promised that they would ensure that such sanctions did not adversely affect consumer energy prices or their nation’s energy supplies.
“As we do so, we will work together and with our partners to ensure stable and sustainable global energy supplies and affordable prices for consumers, including by accelerating reduction of our overall reliance on fossil fuels and our transition to clean energy in accordance with our climate objectives,” the joint statement read.
They also committed to doubling down on previous sanctions that targeted Russia’s ability to function and take advantage of the global economy, including measures against banks, oligarchs, and propaganda, and “the provision of key services on which Russia depends.”
The statement reiterated the G7’s support of investigating and prosecuting Russian war crimes.
The U.S. also unveiled new sanctions against Russia, Reuters reports.
Three Russian television networks that are either partly or entirely state controlled—Joint Stock Company Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1, and Joint Stock Company NTV Broadcasting Company–are to be banned from broadcasting in the US, the White House said.
Additionally, the U.S. has sanctioned the use of accounting and consulting services for Russian nationals and declared sanctions against executives from Gazprombank, and eight executives from Sberbank. It also announced visa bans and restrictions on over 2,500 Russian military officials and Russian-backed forces in Ukraine, sanctions against eight Russian maritime companies, and restrictions on 69 vessels.