The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the European Union is a ‘non-enumerated member’.
This year the G7 invited Ukraine, India , South Africa, Argentina and Indonesia to participate in the event with Ukraine’s president Volodimir Zelenskyy scheduled to address the summit virtually.
The Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations (G7) began three days of talks on Sunday in Germany’s Bavarian Alps and one of the first announcements was a $600 billion (€568 billion) infrastructure initiative to help developing countries tackle climate change. The initiative is seen as the West’s response to China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The United States also said the Group of Seven (G7) nations will ban the import of Russian gold with the aim of tightening sanctions screws on Moscow, which on Sunday carried out missile strikes on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv after making territorial gains in the eastern Luhansk region.
Gold exports are a major source of revenue for Russia in terms of their ability to transact with the global financial system.
Last year, they were worth 12.6 billion pounds ($15.45bn) and wealthy Russians have been buying bullion to reduce the financial effect of Western sanctions.
The clampdown is likely to be the most meaningful economic measure against Moscow announced at the G7’s three-day meeting.
“Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,” President Joe Biden said as the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations gathered in the Bavarian Alps.
The measure was initially flagged by the United Kingdom as joint action being taken along with fellow G7 members Canada, Japan and the US.
Talking about the new development for under developed nations to counter China’s road and belt initiative that has out a lot of countries especially in Africa into debt, Biden said;
“I want to be clear — this isn’t aid or charity,”. “It’s an investment that will deliver returns for everyone, including the American people and the people of all our nations. It will boost all of our economies.”
The new G7 fund will focus on climate initiatives, among other projects, including a $2 billion solar farm investment in Angola, $320 million for hospital construction in Ivory Coast and $40 million to promote regional energy trade in Southeast Asia.
EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said G7 was offering “sustainable, quality infrastructure” and will be “listening closely to the recipient countries.”