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G7 Leaders Pledge Further Economic Isolation of Russia

G7 Leaders Pledge Further Economic Isolation of Russia

Sunday, 8 May, 2022 - 16:45
US first lady Jill Biden meets with Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, outside a public school in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, May 8, 2022. Susan Walsh/Pool via REUTERS

The Group of Seven leaders said in a joint statement on Sunday that they will reinforce Russia's economic isolation and "elevate" a campaign against Russian elites who support President Vladimir Putin.


After meeting virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the leaders said they would cut off key services on which Russia depends, reinforcing the isolation of Russia "across all sectors of its economy."


They also committed to phasing out dependency on Russian energy, including by banning imports of Russian oil.


"(W)e will continue and elevate our campaign against the financial elites and family members, who support President Putin in his war effort and squander the resources of the Russian people," the statement added.


The United States on Sunday unveiled sanctions against three Russian television stations, banned Americans from providing accounting and consulting services to Russians, and sanctioned executives from Gazprombank to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.


Putin calls the invasion a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and its allies say Russia launched an unprovoked war.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a surprise visit to Ukraine.


Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne and Irpin Mayor Olexander Markushyn announced Trudeau’s visit to Irpin, which had been damaged by Russia’s attempt to take Kyiv at the start of the war. Markushyn posted images of Trudeau on social media, saying that the Canadian leader was shocked by the damage he saw at civilian homes.


Trudeau is the latest Western leader to come to Ukraine to offer their support to the country. Later in the day he raised his country’s flag at Canadian Embassy in Kyiv.


US first lady Jill Biden also made an unannounced visit to western Ukraine, holding a surprise Mother’s Day meeting with the nation’s first lady, Olena Zelenska.


Biden traveled under the cloak of secrecy, becoming the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during its 10-week-old conflict with Russia.


Her visit follows recent stops in the war-torn country by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress, as well as a joint trip by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with Zelenskiy in Kyiv.


The first lady traveled by vehicle to the town of Uzhhorod from a Slovakian village that borders Ukraine.


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