| 6 December 2023, Wednesday |

G7 tightens Russia sanctions, looks to cut China trade reliance

Leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies acted on Friday to tighten sanctions on Russia, while a draft communiqué to be released following their talks in Hiroshima, Japan, emphasized the need to lessen reliance on trade with China.

The Group of Seven (G7) leaders, who will be joined this weekend by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, have committed to limit exports to Russia that may aid President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his neighbor and to put an end to sanctions-busting.

“Today’s actions will further tighten the vice on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions,” U.S. Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement accompanying a raft of new U.S. measures.

A statement issued by G7 leaders said restrictions would cover exports of industrial machinery, tools and technology useful to Russia’s war effort, while efforts would be pursued to limit Russian revenues from trade in metals and diamonds.

On China, which G7 powers increasingly see as a threat to economic security, they were to agree that its status as the world’s second largest economy necessitated efforts to foster cooperation, an early draft of the final communique seen by Reuters said.

“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, we do not seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” noted the draft, which is still subject to change, calling for “stable and constructive” ties with Beijing.

The draft nonetheless urged measures to “reduce excessive dependencies” in critical supply chains and counter “malign practices” in technology transfer and data disclosure.

It reaffirmed the need for peace in the Taiwan Strait and urged China to press Russia to end aggression in Ukraine.

  • Reuters