The Group of Seven (G7) nations decided to harden the sanctions against Russia at its summit being held at the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The new round of sanctions targets Russia's technology sector, its energy capabilities and the financial services sector.
One of the key features of the latest round of sanctions the western caucus is slapping on Russia is the restriction of any exports that could help in Moscow's war with Ukraine. "This includes exports of industrial machinery, tools, and other technology that Russia uses to rebuild its war machine," the G7's- draft joint communique said.
The western alliance said it would also limit Russian revenues generated through trade in metals and diamonds.
The G-7 summit this time was attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The summit of the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada take place even as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues beyond a full year and shows no sign of easing.
The US pitched for fresh sanctions against people and institutions that have been evading existing sanctions on Russia, imposed after the start of the Ukraine war. According to the US Treasury Department, as many as 22 individuals and 104 entities in more than 20 countries or jurisdictions will come under the new sanctions, CNN reported.
The US State Department is also separately imposing sanctions on more than 200 entities, individuals, vessels, and aircraft, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Sending F-16 Fighter Jets to Ukraine
US President Joe Biden also committed at the G-7 summit that Washington will train Ukrainian pilots on advanced aircraft including F-16s. According to US officials, the joint training effort will take place in Europe but US experts will hold the training. "As the training takes place over the coming months, our coalition of countries participating in this effort will decide when to actually provide jets, how many we will provide, and who will provide them," an official said, according to Reuters.
Though Ukraine has been pushing for US-made F-16 fighter jets, Washington has been reluctant in sending them directly to Kyiv. According to the latest report from the G-7 summit, the US has come around to allowing its European allies to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
The United Kingdom ad signaled last week that it was mooting an alliance with the Netherlands to procure F-16 jets for Ukraine and to train Ukrainian pilots on the fourth generation fighters.
Meanwhile, the summit also called for "stable and constructive" relations with China. "Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, we do not seek to thwart China's economic progress and development," the draft communique said.