G7 pledges new aid to Ukraine as war rages

G7 leaders were on Monday to announce new economic measures to tighten Moscow, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for more help in repelling the Russian invasion.

US President Joe Biden and his colleagues from the Group of Seven Rich Democracies are holding a three-day summit in the Bavarian Alps dominated by the war in Ukraine and its global implications.

The high-level talks come a day after Kiev suffered the first Russian attack on the capital in three weeks, Ukraine said, with a rocket attack on a residential building that killed one person.

Among the new measures weighed in by G7 leaders were a price cap on Russian oil imports and new sanctions against Russia’s defense sector, the White House said Monday.

“Delays in arms transfers to our state, any restrictions, are actually an invitation for Russia to strike again and again.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who attended the G7 meeting, emphasized the message of unity among Kiev’s allies.

Last week, the European Union expressed its support by granting Kiev candidate status.

G7 members kicked off their meeting on Sunday by announcing a plan to ban imports of Russian gold, the latest in a series of sanctions aimed at punishing President Vladimir Putin for his February 24 invasion.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned his fellow G7 leaders not to give in to “fatigue” and said Ukraine would need long-term help.

The move would serve the dual purpose of starving the Kremlin of a key revenue stream for its war machine while also lowering the price of Russian oil in the hopes of curbing inflation, the official said.

Biden and his G7 counterparts will further announce new sanctions against Russia’s defense industry during the summit, the US official told reporters.

– Food shortages –

With millions of tons of grain trapped in silos, concerns are growing that African countries heavily dependent on Ukrainian exports could face famine.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who will host a G20 summit in November, has said he plans to use the trip in the coming days to visit Ukraine and Russia to ask Putin and Zelensky to open a dialogue for peace.

– ‘Intimidate Ukrainians’ –

Tearful residents recounted the moment the rockets hit.

However, Russia denied hitting a civilian target but said its forces attacked the Artyom weapons factory nearby.

German Chancellor and G7 presenter Olaf Scholz said the attack showed again “that it is right to stand together and support Ukrainians”.

After failing to take Kiev early on, Russian forces turned their attention to the eastern Donbas region, which has been partially controlled by pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.

The mayor of Severodonetsk said it was “fully occupied” by Russian troops after Ukrainian forces withdrew to better defend the neighboring city of Lysychansk.

bur-mfp/hmn/raz

Originally published as G7 to pledge new aid to Ukraine as war rages