G7 summit in Elmau: The incredible seven: With these measures, the West wants to bring Putin to his knees


    At the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, politicians demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine and unity against Russia. But what can they really do against Putin?

    It could all be so beautiful. When Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) receives US President Joe Biden at Schloss Elmau against the backdrop of the Wetterstein Mountains on Sunday, the focus is first and foremost on the breathtaking Alpine landscape – and on winter sports. Scholz points through the safety glass to the mountain backdrop. Biden replies, “I haven’t been skiing in a long time, it’s wonderful.”

    A few hours beforehand, Russian rocket attacks are reported from Kyiv – for the first time in three weeks the city will be shelled again on Sunday. One of the missiles hit a nine-story apartment building, writes an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister. Another rocket had hit the site of a kindergarten.

    Here the G7 meeting of the leading democratic economic powers in a picturesque alpine valley. There the brutality of war. The contrast could hardly be more drastic. Whether the rockets on Kyiv were also a greeting from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Elmau? One does not know, but the thought is not far off.

    Biden swears by unity at the G7 in Elmau

    Conversely, it is also clear that the summit in Elmau should be two things above all: a message of solidarity to Kyiv and a signal of strength and unity to Putin. The heads of the leading Western economic powers – Germany, the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan – meet four months after the start of the war in person for the first time to show a clear edge against the warmonger from Moscow.

    “We have to stay together,” Biden said when he met Scholz. “Putin counted on NATO and the G7 to split from the start,” said the president. “We didn’t do that and we won’t do it.” The Chancellor said in English: “The good news is that we all managed to stay united.”

    After their conversation, Biden and Scholz will meet with the other heads of state and government in the so-called Yoga Pavilion. EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will also be there. The nine sit fairly close together at a round table. That also fits the message: close ranks.

    But what exactly does the G7 have to offer in terms of pressure on Russia and support for Ukraine?

    Gold embargo against Russia

    Shortly before the start of the summit, Biden announced via Twitter that the G7 countries would ban the import of gold from Russia. A US official says gold is Russia’s second most important export after energy. “This will further isolate Russia from the global economy.”

    Money and weapons for Ukraine

    “Ukraine needs more and we are determined to deliver more”: With this promise, EU Council President Charles Michel went into the summit deliberations. However, there were no concrete announcements on Sunday either from him or from other G7 participants. For example, it remained unclear whether the EU would make 500 million euros available for arms deliveries to Ukraine in June, as in previous months.

    Marshall Plan for Ukraine

    Scholz wants to promote a long-term aid project in Elmau: a “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of war-torn Ukraine. Between 1948 and 1952, the USA used such a plan to help Germany and other European countries get back on their feet after six years of war.

    Oil price caps against Russian profits

    A proposal by the United States envisages forcing Russia to sell oil to large buyers such as India at a significantly lower price in the future. This could work by the West tying services such as insurance for oil shipments to compliance with the price cap. On the one hand, the upper limit is intended to ensure that Russia no longer benefits from price increases on the energy market. On the other hand, it should contribute to a relaxation on the oil markets worldwide. Not only in the EU, but also in the USA, the high fuel prices are currently a big issue.

    On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be connected to the summit via video so that he can take part in the deliberations. Then he will once again formulate his wishes for the West.