In a secluded valley in Bavaria, the G7 states have been discussing their course towards Russia since Sunday. Important commitments are still pending before the last day – and the next summit is already casting its shadow.
After more than half a dozen working sessions and numerous bilateral talks, the G7 heads of state and government will conclude their deliberations in the Bavarian castle of Elmau on Tuesday.
The central themes on the third day of the summit are again likely to be the Ukraine war with the hunger crisis promoted by Russia’s aggression. This threatens above all in East Africa. Concrete financial commitments are expected from the G7 countries. Afterwards, some of the summit participants travel on to Madrid for the NATO summit.
The pressure on Russia, which started a war against Ukraine at the end of February, is also to be increased during the consultations in Spain. NATO sent a clear signal at the beginning of the week: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Monday that the alliance would increase the number of its rapid response forces from around 40,000 to more than 300,000. It is still unclear whether Turkey’s blockade regarding the admission of Sweden and Finland can be broken.
Over the past two days, the G7 have agreed on further financial, military, humanitarian and diplomatic support for Ukraine. They also announced new sanctions against Russia, including against its defense industry. The three-day meeting at Schloss Elmau ends today with a final statement and a press conference by host Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the early afternoon. Other summit participants will also comment on the conclusion of the summit.
In addition to Germany, the Group of Seven (G7) includes the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel will also attend the summit.
G7 see deep trenches
Russia has broken all agreements on cooperation between states, Scholz emphasized on Monday evening. The G7 agree that this will shape relations for a long time. “In relation to Russia, there can be no going back to the time before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” All G7 countries are ready to make the necessary decisions.
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, welcomed the commitment of the G7 countries to further aid for his country – and called for new arms deliveries. Ukraine has reached a turning point to “break Putin’s military backbone,” Melnyk told the Rheinische Post. “To do this, we need the most modern heavy war equipment, such as multiple rocket launchers, artillery, air defense systems, but also tanks, at lightning speed.”
50 million people face starvation
With a view to the impending famine, Scholz said in an interview on Monday that the G7 countries are making intensive efforts to enable grain exports from Ukraine. The issue is causing the G7 greatest concern and they want to help. Money should also be used to ensure that hunger crises are avoided.
Ukraine and Russia are the world’s largest wheat exporters. They usually cover almost a third of global demand – but because Russia is currently blocking the Ukrainian ports, a lot of grain cannot be exported. According to the World Food Program, 50 million people worldwide are on the brink of starvation.
Cooperation on climate protection
Despite the energy crisis triggered by the Ukraine war, the G7 want to stick to the current climate protection goals. According to information from the German Press Agency, the members will make it clear in the final declaration of the summit that they continue to see the so-called Paris Agreement as a guideline for their actions. In December 2015, the countries of the world agreed to make efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees if possible.
Scholz had also invited five guest countries to the summit. On Monday, the G7 agreed joint climate protection efforts with India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina. According to a statement, the switch to climate neutrality should be promoted. At the same time, renewable energies are to be expanded, and coal is to be used less and less.
The plans met with mixed reactions from environmentalists. Greenpeace spoke of weak announcements. The political director of Germanwatch, Christoph Bals, saw potential. “In particular, the partnership with India, which should be completed by the G20 summit next year, can become extremely relevant.”
Erdogan indicates: No willingness to compromise on NATO expansion
At the NATO summit in Madrid, the inclusion of Sweden and Finland is likely to be discussed in addition to the plans already published by Stoltenberg for the rapid deployment forces. Turkey is blocking the admission process for the two countries – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shows no willingness to compromise.
According to the government, Erdogan said on Monday that the “hypocrisy” towards “terrorist organizations” would be explained to the interlocutors with “documents, information and pictures”. Ankara accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting “terrorist organizations”. Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö want to discuss their NATO membership with Erdogan in a small group on Tuesday.
After the arrival of the other heads of state and government, Spain’s King Felipe invites you to a gala dinner on Tuesday evening.