‘We have to stay together’: Biden on Ukraine

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Elmau: President Joe Biden on Sunday praised the continued unity of the global alliance confronting Russia, as he and other heads of the Group of Seven leading economies strategised on sustaining the pressure in their effort to isolate Moscow over its months-long invasion of Ukraine.
Biden and his counterparts were meeting to discuss how to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, aiming to keep fallout from the war from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow. They were set to announce new bans on imports of Russian gold, the latest in a series of sanctions the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine.
Leaders also were coming together in a new global infrastructure partnership meant to provide an alternative to Russian and Chinese investment in the developing world.
“We’ve got to make sure we have us all staying together,” Biden said during a pre-summit sit-down with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the G-7’s rotating presidency and is hosting the gathering. You know, we’re gonna continue working on economic challenges that we face but I think we get through all this.
Scholz replied that the good message is that we all made it to stay united, which Putin never expected, a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent his military across the border into Ukraine in late February.
“We have to stay together, because Putin has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G-7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to,” Biden replied, as he and Scholz sat on a terrace that overlooked the picturesque Bavarian Alps.
“We can’t let this aggression take the form it has and get away with it,” added Biden.
Hours before the summit formally opened, Russia launched missile strikes against the Ukrainian capital Sunday, striking at least two residential buildings, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. They were the first such strikes by Russia in three weeks.
Biden condemned Russia’s actions as “more of their barbarism.”
Other leaders echoed Biden’s praise of coalition unity.
The head of the European Union’s council of governments said the 27-member block maintains unwavering unity in backing Ukraine against Russia’s invasion with money and political support, but that Ukraine needs more and we are committed to providing more.
Biden and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, plus the EU, were spending Sunday in both formal and informal settings, including working sessions on the war’s effects on the global economy, including inflation, and on infrastructure.
Biden is also set to formally launch a global infrastructure partnership designed to counter China’s influence in the developing world. He had named it Build Back Better World and introduced the program at last year’s G-7 summit.
Biden and other leaders will announce the first projects to benefit from what the U.S. sees as an alternative to infrastructure models that sell debt traps to low- and middle-income partner countries,” Kirby said. The projects are also supposed to help advance U.S. economic competitiveness and our national security,” he said.
After the G-7 summit concludes on Tuesday, Biden will travel to Madrid for a summit of the leaders of the 30 members of NATO to align strategy on the war in Ukraine. (AP)