Alpine "syndrome" of additional costs
The gathered leaders of big "seven" understood what waits for them in the future.
Germany which presides in "seven", invited country leaders of this group including Great Britain, Italy, Canada, the USA, France and Japan on the three-day summit. The meeting began on Sunday in the Elmau lock, in the Bavarian Alps.
It is planned to publish at least four joint statements and also the final communique. The meeting takes place against the background of demonstrations of antiglobalists and opponents of the G7 which broke the tent town in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
In the first day of work, issues of foreign policy and a situation in the area and safety were discussed. Leaders discussed the anti-Russian sanctions and suggested to strengthen pressure upon Moscow in the light of a situation in Ukraine. The head of the British government Boris Johnson and the president of France Emmanuel Macron supported that "to break a situation in the war", giving support to Kiev.
The representative of the government of Germany reported that Volodymyr Zelensky will make a speech at a meeting on video conference. This day "group of seven" the partner countries, including Senegal presiding in the African Union, the Republic of South Africa, India, Indonesia and Argentina and also representatives of the international organizations, including the UN, the WTO, WHO, the World Bank will join.
In a format of "seven" the organization existed in 1976-1997. After accession of Russia the association began to be called Group of eight. In March, 2014 after the events in Ukraine and crisis in the relations between Russia and the West association returned to a format of "seven".
The world didn't turn out
The special military operation of Russia bared all that within three last decades masked. In December of last year the Kremlin warned the USA, suggested NATO to return on borders of 1997. Kiev convinced that implementation of the Minsk agreements in his interests.
The world didn't turn out and for the last four months practically everything turned over. The West announced Russia economic blockade and actually is involved in fighting on side of Kiev. The countries of NATO deliver to Ukraine arms, prospecting information, financial support, instructors and mercenaries. Give to Kiev moral and political support which can become "termless". The Bloomberg agency reported about it, referring to draft document prepared for leaders of the G7.
Washington and the European capitals discuss "life after the divorce" with Moscow. Russia, in turn, adapts to live "without the West". The first results already are. For the USA, other countries of the G7 and the European Union is increase in prices at gas stations and the inflation threatening with economic downturn. The purposes of "green transition" are removed.
Into the forefront there were prices of electricity and return to coal generation, reserves of natural gas to the winter which is coming for Europe, appeals of the European Union to comprehensive economy of energy. Lithuania which, referring to sanctions of the EU, violated agreements of 2003 on transit of cargoes for the Kaliningrad region expects the fate.
Where to rise Sholtsu?
Before the summit the German chancellor Olaf Sholts held a meeting with "the main guest" - the U.S. President Joe Biden. The chancellor, speak, I was delighted to Biden, but I took the place of the president marked by the protocol. "It is very pleasant to see you", – Sholts said smiling. "Beautiful place", – Biden answered, looking at a mountain landscape. At this moment the organizer approached politicians and I showed where to Sholts to rise. Biden and the chancellor traded places and Biden saluted the woman under laughter of reporters.
Talked about what laughter can't cause. Namely, how to soften consequences of crisis in food and power spheres, about diplomatic settlement of the conflict and the help to Kiev which is necessary for "protection of the democratic device of Ukraine against the Russian aggression", – I noted the White House following the results of a meeting.
Leaders agreed "always to act together", noted that disagreements on which allegedly I counted the Kremlin "didn't happen and won't occur". Later Sholts said that leaders of the countries of "Seven" at the summit noted the inflation growth, violation of supply chains and other economic problems. "In many countries the rates of economic growth decrease, observed high inflation and the shortage of raw materials, violation of supply chains" — he told.
During negotiations with the president of France Emmanuel Macron Boris Johnson, speaking about a situation in Ukraine, I said that attempts "settle the conflict now" can be dangerous and will lead only to the long period of instability". The representative the MFA of Russia Maria Zakharova considered the statement of the prime minister of Great Britain a "terrible" example of the British political humour.
Impose "additional costs"
On the eve of the meeting in Germany, the coordinator for strategic communications at the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, said that the G7 leaders would discuss how to impose "additional costs" on Russia related to the situation in Ukraine.
Indeed, Russia, the authorities of the DPR and LPR will have a large-scale restoration of the cities and towns of Donbass, other territories affected by a special military operation. Among the "additional costs" was the network of eateries "Delicious and period!," Which arose on the site of the MacDonalds network. Other difficulties await Moscow. In particular, Western suppliers went to break ties with Russian enterprises on components. Other problems, such as the strengthened ruble, spoil the lives of Russian exporters.
Difficult times have come for Russian diplomacy. The structure of international relations established over the past three dozen post-Soviet years is crumbling before our eyes, pulling in a revision of the principles of the world order laid down by the results of World War II. Shifts exceed in depth those changes that accompanied the collapse of the USSR.
In the field of economic and financial ties with the West, Russia will face an artificial default on external debt obligations. Bloomberg notes that the grace period for the payment of $100 million expired on June 26. But the United States did not renew the license that allowed such payments.
Moscow is also taking unexpected steps in the field of military-political relations with NATO. Vladimir Putin promised Alexander Lukashenko Iskander-M missile systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads. This was discussed at the talks between the presidents of Russia and Belarus in St. Petersburg on Saturday, on the day of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries. During the negotiations, Lukashenko asked Putin to consider the possibility of a mirror response to NATO flights with nuclear weapons near the borders of Belarus.
In turn, NATO at the summit, which will be held June 28-30 in Madrid, will make new statements that Russia is no longer a partner of the bloc and poses a threat to its security. The US President assured that the Group of Seven and NATO will continue to maintain unity. The summit will discuss issues of increasing the military budgets of the allies, the transition from the current level of combat groups to brigades, which means doubling the number of troops on the eastern borders of the alliance.
Group photo amid global crisis
This is only part of that series of events of recent days and weeks. Against this background, the leaders of the "seven" held meetings of the first day. Then they decided to take a group photo "no worse than Putin's"! The President of Russia and in the Alps continued to occupy the minds of Western leaders. Boris Johnson clarified whether it is necessary to take off the jacket, to which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested waiting for the official final photo before undressing.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Group of Seven countries, especially those representing Europe, cannot but worry about the crisis that is unfolding in their countries amid inflation and slowing economic growth.
Olaf Scholz spoke about this during a meeting on the global economy. "All members of the [G7] are preoccupied with the crisis we are facing: slowing growth in some countries, rising inflation, lack of raw materials, disrupted supply chains - these are serious difficulties," Reuters reported on his words.
The agency, citing a White House spokesman, writes that Scholz and Biden discussed how to mitigate losses for world food and energy security amid hostilities in Ukraine. As a result, they came to a consensus that Russia should not buy gold. They also decided to think about how to set "marginal prices" for Russian oil. According to Biden, gold exports are "a large share of exports, giving Russia tens of billions of dollars."
"New Russian gold exports will no longer be allowed to the UK, Canada, the US and Japan thanks to tough new measures to be announced at the summit," it said. The restrictions will not apply to gold already purchased. The volume of supplies of Russian gold, as noted in the statement, amounted to 12.6 billion pounds (15.5 billion dollars) in 2021. It is reported that the volumes increased after the start of the special operation as a result of the growing attractiveness of the precious metal as a protective asset.
Parade of Planetary Problems
On the eve of the G7 summit, Chancellor Scholz called on his seven colleagues to tune in to a long confrontation with Russia. "We will continue to support Ukraine as long as necessary. It is reported that the participants of the G7 will try to agree on the introduction of a ceiling for world oil prices, which, according to their plan, should limit Russia's ability to make money on exports under sanctions due to high prices and the redistribution of oil export flows from the West to the East.
"This topic will be discussed. But we must also be sure that we have a complete vision of all possible side effects, "said President of the European Council Charles Michel. "We need a broad coalition. We mean not only the EU, but also, of course, other countries of the world, "added the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
A proposal to find new ways to limit Russia's oil revenues was made last week by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who proposed that European companies insure tankers carrying Russian oil only if it is sold at a price not exceeding a certain ceiling.
And politicians gathered in the Alps are haunted by China and Beijing's Belt and Road economic initiative. The leaders of the Group of Seven agreed that they "will be no worse" and promised to allocate about $600 billion to the development of global infrastructure. Washington's share will be about $200 billion if the next US president does not cancel this Biden plan.
Earlier, Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Jake Sullivan said that the project is intended to be an alternative to China's actions in the field of infrastructure development, promised that the partnership will be aimed at developing "high-quality, sustainable infrastructure" that will "strengthen and diversify supply chains." The circulated memorandum also argues that the plan's goal is "to offer low- and middle-income countries a comprehensive, transparent, value-based option to fund infrastructure development."
"And that's just the beginning. The United States and G7 partners will strive to mobilize additional capital with the involvement of other partners who share our views, multilateral development banks, financial development institutions, sovereign investment funds and other participants, "the White House said in a statement.
The task of the G7 summit is thus formulated - to put pressure on Russia by the whole world, as well as to jointly oppose China in its global aspirations. By the way, at the NATO summit in Madrid, the PRC will not be considered as a threat to the West, but as a geostrategic and systemic challenge. It is noteworthy that from the meeting in the Alps there will be photos to remember. In two or three years, some of the leaders of the "seven" will have something to look at, something to remember.
Photo: AP Photo/Pool/Marcus Brandt