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The heads of state and government of the G7 master countless crises

#heads #state #government #master #countless #crises

G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, gather in southern Germany on Sunday to urge support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion while grappling with the war’s worsening global fallout.

From rising inflation to a looming food crisis and energy shortages, the conflict in Ukraine, now in its fifth month, has plunged the world into a series of crises.

When the leaders of the group of seven industrialized nations meet at the Bavarian alpine resort of Schloss Elmau, they will also be confronted with the looming recession and the pressures of climate change.

On the eve of the gathering, thousands of protesters marched in Munich, about 100 kilometers away, warning leaders against backtracking on their climate commitments amid energy market tensions as Russia cuts supplies to Europe.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the host of the summit, said confidently: “We can make important decisions … if we act as one and act decisively.”

– “Do not give up” –

Since Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, Scholz and his colleagues have been on emergency response for months.

While Western allies have hit Russia’s economy with unprecedented sanctions, President Vladimir Putin’s forces have embarked on a protracted war.

Ahead of the talks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged allies not to waver in their support.

“Ukraine can win and they will win. But she needs our support for that. Now is not the time to give up on Ukraine,” he said as Britain announced an additional $525 million in guarantees for World Bank loans later that year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make the same plea when he joins via video link on Monday.

White House spokesman for the National Security Council John Kirby said the G7 will seek to hold Russia accountable and increase the costs and consequences of the war on Putin and his economy.

At the same time, they will try to minimize “as much as possible the impact of these rising oil prices and the way (Putin) is weaponizing energy.”

The economic implications will be the focus of the opening session of the G7.

Just six months ago, the global economy was primed for a massive post-pandemic recovery, but now it was staring at the barrel of a recession.

“Among the core issues that we are all concerned about” are “rising prices, supply chain disruptions, all of which are being exacerbated by this war in Ukraine,” Kirby said.

– Systemic Rival –

Bruised by a dependency on Russian energy that has prevented several European nations, including Germany and Italy, from punishing Putin’s Russia, the West has also cast a wary eye on China – which it sees as a systemic rival.

The G7 leaders, who are traveling to Madrid for a meeting of NATO powers immediately after the summit in Bavaria, will also address China’s challenges.

“The impact of China’s coercive economic practices, the use of forced labour, intellectual theft – these are all at the heart of the G7, and I think you’ll see China at the forefront as the G7 progresses,” Kirby said.

As the rift between Russia’s and China’s western allies widens, the G7 will also seek to broaden its base.

To this end, Scholz invited the heads of state and government of Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to the Alpine Summit.

While Argentina and Indonesia voted to condemn Russia in a crucial UN vote, the other three abstained.

But all are being hit squarely by a looming hunger crisis triggered by the halt to grain and wheat exports from Ukraine, and India, for example, has imposed restrictions on wheat exports.

“We need to keep trade lines open for products and avoid overstocking,” Kirby noted.

– domestic problems –

For many of the G7 leaders, the crises facing the world are also a distraction from domestic issues.

French President Emmanuel Macron is weak at home after his movement failed to secure an outright majority in general elections a week ago.

Johnson’s Conservatives, meanwhile, suffered crushing defeats in two by-elections and a staunch ally resigned after a series of scandals.

Biden faced major divisions in the US political landscape after the Supreme Court struck down abortion rights, at a time when he was already struggling to cope with runaway inflation fueled by sky-high oil prices became.

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