The president of United States, Joe Bidenwill ask this week the G7 leaders that they impose an almost total veto on exports to Russia, a source familiar with the talks within the Group of Seven told EFE.
According to that source, the war in Ukraine will be the central theme of the summit that the G7 will hold between May 19 and 21 in the city of Hiroshima (Japan).
Specifically, Biden wants to modify the way in which the West has so far restricted its exports to Russia in order to eliminate the legal loopholes that have allowed the Kremlin to continue accessing certain products through third countries.
Instead of restricting exports sector by sector, Biden wants the G7 to impose a total veto on exports to Russia and include exceptions in areas such as agriculture, food and medical materials in order not to harm the population, detailed the aforementioned fountain.
This proposal, promoted by Washington to punish Russia for the war in Ukraine, could face difficulties for its implementation within the European Union, since each of the 27 members of the community bloc must agree to these measures.
In any case, if carried out, the veto would have a profound impact on the Russian economy.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the West imposed restrictions on the export of luxury goods and materials that could be used in war to Russia. In addition, the G7 agreed not to buy Russian seaborne crude when its price exceeds $60 a barrel.
However, despite these restrictions, the G7 continues to export goods valued at 4.7 billion dollars to Russia every month, mainly chemical materials, medicines, food and machinery, according to data from the American think tank The Atlantic Council.
If the veto were implemented, exports to Russia would be reduced by 67%, reaching only 1.5 billion dollars a month, according to the same institution.
However, talks are continuing and the US proposal could be changed to assuage concerns not only of some European Union countries, but also of Japan, which has behaved cautiously towards Russia due to its dependence on Russian oil and natural gas. .
Countering China’s influence in the world
Although Russia will be one of the protagonists of the summit, the US rivalry with China will also figure prominently.
In fact, according to a US official told EFE, Biden plans to make important announcements related to the great infrastructure plan launched by the G7 at their summit last year in Germany, known as the Association for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII). ).
Through this plan, the G7 pledged to mobilize $600 billion over five years to counter China’s One Belt, One Road megaproject, launched in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping with the aim of expanding China’s influence. China around the world through investments in infrastructure and telecommunications.
So far, the G7 plan has not made any significant progress. However, at their April meeting in Japan, the group’s foreign ministers expressed their intention to boost the PGII with further investment in areas such as energy, transport and health.
And, now, Biden is expected to make important announcements about that plan on the margins of the summit, said the aforementioned US official.
Bridges with developing countries
According to the same source, Biden will also take advantage of the G7 summit to build bridges with the so-called “Global South”especially taking advantage of the presence of the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, together with other leaders of countries that are not part of the Group of Seven.
In particular, Biden intends to discuss with these leaders the initiatives of the new president of the World Bank (WB)Indian-American Ajay Banga, to help developing countries combat poverty and the effects of climate change.
Banga was elected president of the WB just two weeks ago with the support of the countries of emerging economies and will take office on June 2.
Finally, Biden is expected to reiterate his commitment to work towards a world without nuclear weapons, a highly symbolic message given that the summit is being held in Hiroshima, one of two cities bombed by the United States in 1945 during World War II. .
The United States has never apologized for the bombings. Biden will be the second US president to visit Hiroshima, after the 2016 visit of Barack Obama (2009-2017), whose embrace of a survivor of the tragedy became a symbol of reconciliation between the two countries.
EFE International news agency based in Madrid and present in more than 110 countries.