Global Courant 2023-05-19 09:11:27
Canada, the US and the rest of the Group of Seven allies planned to unveil new sanctions and export controls against individuals and companies supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.
The gathering of the world’s major democratic economies will hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is expected to attend in person, according to multiple international media reports.
Canadian officials, speaking in the background, would not confirm the Ukrainian president’s presence in person, but noted that the topic of the war, which was expected to be discussed on Friday, has been postponed to Saturday.
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In his late-night address to his people Thursday, Zelenskyy said he is seeking more modern weapons from the country’s allies.
“Our priorities for this week, next week and for the foreseeable future are additional air defense systems, additional missiles, training and aircraft, and long-range weapons,” Zelenskyy said.
“And this shall be fulfilled.”
The gathering of the world’s major democratic economies will hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is expected to attend in person, according to multiple international media reports. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)
The Biden administration signaled to European allies that the US would allow them to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, CNN reported late Thursday, on the eve of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan.
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The network quoted unnamed senior government officials as adding that they were not aware of any allied country requesting permission to export 4th-generation fighter jets, which are more advanced than Ukrainian pilots currently fly.
The leaders have arrived and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had a series of bilateral meetings, including with the host leader, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, with whom he raised the issue of curbs and discrimination against gay couples in that country . .
“Clearly Canada is concerned about some of Italy’s position on LGBT rights, but I look forward to talking about that,” Trudeau said.
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Trudeau raised the issue of curbs and discrimination against gay couples in Italy with the country’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni, top left. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan/Reuters)
Meloni replied that her government follows court rulings and does not deviate from previous administrations.
Canada comes with more sanctions
However, the war in Ukraine was the dominant theme on Friday.
A senior Canadian official, speaking in the background, said early Friday that the sanctions Canada plans to unveil will target Russian companies that “supply military technology”.
It comes at a crucial time, as allied military observers have noted Russia is increasingly using new hypersonic missiles in airstrikes against Ukraine – a possible sign of increased production.
The UK plans to ban the import of Russian diamonds — an industry worth about $4 billion a year — as part of its latest sanctions package, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said ahead of the summit. Canada has already sanctioned the Russian diamond industry.
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Other countries are slow to act. G7 leaders are expected to discuss measures to better track the diamond trade, with the intention of the European Union imposing sanctions at a later date, a senior EU official told Reuters.
The message was endorsed by the President of the European Council.
“Russian diamonds are not forever,” Charles Michel told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.
The Allies have continued to ramp up sanctions and export control pressure on Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Canada says the sanctions are working
Thousands of targets hit by Washington with sanctions to date have included Russian President Vladimir Putin, the financial sector and oligarchs.
Experts expect G7 leaders to focus on tightening existing sanctions and taking measures to counter sanctions evasion. A recent report from the US Treasury Department noted how Russian elites have transferred ownership of companies and assets to family members – or other proxies – in an attempt to hide wealth.
Secretary of State Melanie Joly said ahead of the summit that the sanctions regime imposed on Russia is working.
“We have seen that the impact of the G7 sanctions against Russia has really negatively affected their military, especially the ability for the Russian military to access key technologies coming from the west,” she said.
“Meanwhile, we know that we need to look at the issue of sanctions evasion. The (G7) finance ministers have looked into this and the foreign ministers have looked into this, and the leaders will look into this as well.”