G-7 leaders mark VE Day emphasizing solidarity, support for Ukraine

Leaders from the Group of Seven developed democracies pledged Sunday to eliminate or ban Russian oil imports, when they met Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for an online talk aimed at emphasizing support and showed solidarity among the Western allies on Victory Day in Europe, which marked the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.

Cutting off Russia’s oil supply “would severely affect the main lifeline of (President Vladimir) Putin’s economy and keep him from getting the revenue he needs to finance his war,” the source said. G-7 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, said in a statement.

They added: “We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly manner, as well as in ways that the world can secure alternative supplies.

Looking back on World War II, the leaders emphasized the unity of their determination that Putin must not win.

They said: “We are indebted to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in the Second World War, to continue to fight today, for the people of Ukraine, Europe and the global community. bridge.

US President Joe Biden’s call with the leaders of the G-7 and Zelenskyy lasted about an hour.

The US also announced new sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. These include cutting Western advertising from Russia’s three largest television stations, banning American accounting and consulting firms from providing services to any Russians, and placing further restrictions on Russia’s industrial sector, including cutting off Moscow from wood products, industrial engines, boilers, bulldozers and more.

The White House announced the new sanctions ahead of Victory Day on May 9, when Russia traditionally celebrates defeating Nazi Germany in 1945 with huge military parades.

Mr. Putin is expected to talk about his special military operation in Ukraine and address the troops on Red Square on Monday.

The United States and its European allies are trying to send a counter-message that Putin is continuing to isolate Russia from the rest of the world and cause enormous damage to the Russian economy.

The new round of US sanctions will hit three of Russia’s most popular TV stations in Russia – Channel One Russia, Russia-1 and NTV – which the US says has been at the forefront of spreading misinformation about Russia being banned. prosecution of the invasion.

The Biden administration says new sanctions banning American accounting and consulting firms from doing business in Russia will help prevent Russian firms and elites from getting help to hide their wealth. them and avoid a series of sanctions that have been enacted.

The United States also said it had imposed some 2,600 visa restrictions on Russian and Belarusian officials, and issued a new visa restriction policy for Russian officials and military authorities.

The United States has sanctioned 27 executives of Gazprombank, a bank that facilitated purchases of Russia’s Gazprom, one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters, with Europe. The sanctions are the first time the US has hit a bank that plays an important role in Russia’s significant gas exports, but the move has only stopped in the face of sanctions that have prevented it from going completely. which the US has inflicted on other major Russian banks.

Ahead of the call, British officials said Britain would provide an additional £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in military assistance to Ukraine to help it defend itself against Russian forces.

The funding, which comes from the UK government’s reserves, includes £300m of military equipment that Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised earlier this week, such as a radar system targeting Russian artillery, anti-aircraft weapons GPS interference and night vision devices.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Sunday, visiting the northern town of Irpin, which was heavily damaged by Russia’s attempt to capture the capital Kyiv at the start of the war. The mayor on Sunday posted pictures of Trudeau on social media, saying the Canadian leader was shocked by the damage he saw to civilian homes.

Trudeau’s office later said, “The prime minister is in Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm Canada’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people.”

Jill Biden also made an unannounced visit on Sunday, holding a surprise Mother’s Day meeting in western Ukraine with first lady Olena Zelenska. Biden traveled under the guise of secrecy, becoming the latest high-profile American to visit Ukraine during its 10-week war with Russia.

The first lady of the United States told Zelenska: “I want to come on Mother’s Day. “I think it’s important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and that this war is brutal and that the American people are on the side of the Ukrainian people.”

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a televised address that Sunday was “a May 8 like no other.”

He said Germany had worked hard to deal with its actions during World War II, reconciled with both Russia and Ukraine and was committed to the concept of “never again”. However, Russia’s “barbaric” invasion of Ukraine in February brought war back to Europe, Scholz said, a prospect that previously seemed unthinkable.

“Freedom and security will prevail – just as freedom and security triumphed over lack of freedom, violence and dictatorship 77 years ago,” Scholz said in his speech.

The President of the German Bundestag Bärbel Bas, the second highest-ranking German official after the president, met Zelenskyy on Sunday in Kyiv and attended a memorial event on the anniversary of the end of World War II.

“We really appreciate that on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, and for us in a challenging time of war, German Bundestag President Bärbel Bas came out to support Ukraine,” a post read. posted Sunday on Zelenskyy’s Telegram channel said .

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