G-7 will continue economic pressure on Russia and tackle the “wheat war”.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks at a press conference after the meeting of the foreign ministers of the G7 member states on May 14, 2022 at Weissenhaus Castle near Oldenburg in Holstein.

Morris Macmatzen | Getty Images

The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized nations vowed on Saturday to increase Russia’s economic and political isolation, continue to supply arms to Ukraine and fight what the German foreign minister called the “wheat war” waged by Moscow.

After meeting at a 400-year-old castle estate in the Baltic Sea resort of Weißenhaus, senior diplomats from Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union pledged to continue their military and defense assistance for “as long as necessary”.

They would also address so-called Russian misinformation aimed at blaming the West for food supply problems around the world due to economic sanctions against Moscow, and urged China not to support Moscow or justify Russia’s war, according to a joint statement .

“Have we done enough to mitigate the effects of this war? It’s not our war. It is a war by the Russian president, but we bear global responsibility,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told journalists at a final press conference.

The key to putting more pressure on Russia is to ban or phase out purchases of Russian oil, with EU member states expected to reach an agreement on the issue next week, albeit from Hungary at this point is rejected.

“We will accelerate our efforts to reduce and end dependence on Russian energy supplies and build on G-7 commitments to halt or ban imports of Russian coal and oil as soon as possible,” the statement said.

The ministers said they would impose more sanctions on Russian elites, including economic actors, central government institutions and the military, allowing President Vladimir Putin to “fight the war of his choice.”

The meeting in northern Germany, attended by the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Moldova, also highlighted food security concerns and fears that the war in Ukraine could spill over to smaller neighboring country Moldova.

“People will die in Africa and the Middle East and we face an urgent question: how to feed the world’s people? People are wondering what will happen if we don’t have the grain that we used to need from Russia and Ukraine,” Baerbock said.

She added that the G-7 would be working to find logistical solutions to get vital raw materials out of Ukraine’s warehouses ahead of the next harvest.

Attention now turns to Berlin, while ministers meet with Sweden and Finland later on Saturday to prepare to bid for membership of the transatlantic alliance, prompting threats of retaliation from Moscow and objections from NATO member Turkey.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell shake hands after bilateral talks during the G7 foreign ministers meeting in Wangels, northern Germany May 14, 2022.

Markus Brandt AFP | Getty Images

“It’s important that we have a consensus,” Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly told reporters when asked about Turkey’s possible blocking of her accession.

Putin calls the invasion a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian nationalism fueled by the West. Ukraine and its allies say Russia has started an unprovoked war.

“More of that,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters. “The only thing missing is pushing for diplomatic engagement to reach a ceasefire. It’s missing because Vladimir Putin told everyone he didn’t want to end the war.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/14/g-7-foreign-ministers-vow-to-continue-economic-pressure-on-russia.html G-7 will continue economic pressure on Russia and tackle the “wheat war”.

Chrissy Callahan

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