The leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies, meeting in the Bavarian Alps, ended their annual summit on Tuesday vowing to do everything in their power to stop Russia from using energy as a weapon to profit from its invasion of Ukraine.
The G7 condemned Russia’s missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, which killed as many as 18 people, as a war crime.
Canada stepped forward with a $200-million loan through the International Monetary Fund to help the government in Kyiv “meet its urgent liquidity needs.”
Since the start of Russia’s military action against Ukraine, Canada has committed $1.6 billion in loans and $1.3 billion in direct support to Ukraine, including $320 million in humanitarian assistance.
“It’s important that the world doesn’t lose its attention and focus over what’s happening in Ukraine,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We must and we will remain committed until Ukraine and democracy prevail.”
The leaders of the G7 have spent the last three days at a resort in the Alps south of Munich assessing the impact of the war in Ukraine on the world economy, including rising inflation, food and fuel prices.
They will reconvene on Wednesday in Madrid, Spain, under the NATO banner, where the Western military alliance is planning a significant increase in the number of troops it has on high readiness — a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It will also expand existing battle groups in eastern Europe, which were originally established five years ago to reassure Baltic allies in the wake of the Russian annexation of Crimea.
Exploring a new energy strategy
The decisions have the potential to be costly for NATO countries whose finances are reeling from inflation and energy shock.
Canada leads one of the existing battle groups in Latvia. Trudeau was non-committal when asked if the NATO decision means more troops.
“We, like others, are developing plans to be able to scale up rapidly, and those are conversations that I very much look forward to having over the next couple of days in NATO,” he said.
WATCH | Trudeau discusses Canada’s evolving NATO presence:
In their final communiqué, G7 leaders said they are “working to make sure Russia does not exploit its position as an energy producer to profit from its aggression at the expense of vulnerable countries.”
They will continue to discuss ways to impose a price cap on Russian oil, an effort to starve the Kremlin’s war machine.
India, whose prime minister attended the summit as an observer, has been buying discounted Russian oil since the invasion of Ukraine. Trudeau met with Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi, but neither side has said what was discussed.
Energy security in Europe, which is trying to end its dependency on Russian oil and natural gas, was a major topic in bilateral conversations.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi signaled his interest in speaking with Trudeau about it.
“Canada is a big producer, and so the perspective of Prime Minister Trudeau is important,” Draghi said, going into the meeting. “We’re going to talk about this.”
As they wrapped up, G7 leaders said that while they’re taking action to address the current energy crisis, they have not given up on their “climate and biodiversity goals, including the energy transition” away from fossil fuels.