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The first Italian G7 on Kiev, tougher sanctions on Moscow - News

2024-02-20T20:11:32.069Z

Highlights: The first Italian G7 on Kiev, tougher sanctions on Moscow. Summit two years after the war, against the thesis of a tired West. Support for Kiev, including military, will be guaranteed "as long as necessary", with the EU having just established a commitment of at least 21 billion in 2024. In parallel, the G7 aims to hurt Moscow through what in diplomatic jargon is defined as the 'power of the purse' The trafficking of Russian crude oil through a shadow fleet of oil tankers is crucial, to be countered.


Summit two years after the war, against the thesis of a tired West (ANSA)


A tightening of sanctions against Russia: the G7 is moving in this direction, which will meet on Saturday for the first time under the Italian presidency, on the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

The crises in the Middle East and the Red Sea will also be discussed, but Kiev is the focus on the agenda.

And like a year ago, Volodymyr Zelensky will join the videoconference meeting for a speech, before the conversation between Giorgia Meloni, the leaders of the other six states and those of the EU Commission and Council.

A discussion which, diplomatic sources explain, will also focus on the death of Alexei Navalny and his "interpretation", and will end with a joint statement aimed at countering the "false narrative of the West tired" of the effects of the conflict.

For the prime minister, the Melonians assure, the only thing to be condemned is the death in prison of a man guilty only of opposing Vladimir Putin's regime and asking for freedom and democracy.

While controversy mounts over Matteo Salvini's considerations, on the fact that "the doctors and the judges" will shed light on the end of the Russian opponent.

The government's line, it is explained, is that expressed by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, according to which if that death "was not caused directly, it was caused indirectly".

What comes from Moscow is therefore dismissed as propaganda, including Putin's honeyed words about Italy.

Also because, in general, diplomatic sources note, any regime that physically eliminates an opponent shows a sign of weakness.

And in this scenario, the killing in Spain of the Russian pilot Maksim Kuzminov, who defected to Ukraine last summer, also raises a security issue.

For the main European chancelleries, it is the moment to give a strong signal of closeness to Zelensky, even possibly with trips to Kiev, which as always were kept secret until the end given that it is a theater of war.

The agreement with Ukraine on security guarantees is being finalized in Rome, in line with those signed by France and Germany.

Meanwhile, Meloni is preparing to preside over his first G7 summit, which aims to "dot the i's" as the Russian offensive advances towards Zaporizhzhia.

Support for Kiev, including military, will be guaranteed "as long as necessary", with the EU having just established a commitment of at least 21 billion in 2024 and Joe Biden committed to convincing the Congress of States to launch an even more substantial package.

In parallel, the G7 aims to hurt Moscow through what in diplomatic jargon is defined as the 'power of the purse'.

A tightening of the sanctions system will be discussed, above all to try to close the incoming financing channels to Russia and the outgoing energy supply flows to third countries.

The trafficking of Russian crude oil through a shadow fleet of oil tankers is crucial, to be countered - underline diplomatic sources - by sanctioning the financial and banking entities of the countries that contribute to this trade.

In parallel, the reflection continues, still in the preliminary phase, on the possibility of using already confiscated sovereign funds of the Russian Central Bank deposited in some countries, a dynamic which faces legal and financial obstacles.

The crisis in the Middle East was also on the summit table.

Three priorities: the release of the hostages, a ceasefire and post-Gaza.



Reproduction reserved © Copyright ANSA

Source: ansa

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