G7 countries agree to stop importing Russian oil: White House

The entire G7 club of rich nations is “committed to phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil,” the White House said on Sunday, ratcheting up pressure on President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine invasion.

“This will hit the main artery of Putin’s economy hard and deny him the revenue he needs to finance his war,” the Biden administration said in a statement, without specifying exactly what commitments the G7 members: France, Germany, Canada, Italy. , Japan, Great Britain and the USA, have made.

So far, the West has shown coordination in its sanctions announcements against Russia, but has not moved at the same pace when it comes to Russian oil and gas.

The United States, which was not a large consumer of Russian hydrocarbons, has already prohibited its importation.

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But Europe is much more dependent on Russian oil. The European Union has already said it aims to cut its dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds this year, though Germany has opposed calls for an outright boycott, and member states continue intense negotiations on Sunday.

The G7 held its third meeting of the year on Sunday via videoconference, with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The choice of date is highly symbolic: Europeans commemorate the end of World War II in Europe on May 8.

Sunday’s gathering also comes on the eve of Russia’s May 9 military parade, marking the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Washington also announced a new round of sanctions against Russia in a White House statement on Sunday, focusing on two main areas: the media and access by Russian companies and wealthy individuals to leading American accounting and consulting services. in the world.

The United States will sanction the Channel One Russia joint-stock company, the Russia-1 television station and the NTV Broadcasting Company joint-stock company. Any US company will be prohibited from funding them through advertising or selling equipment to them.

“American companies should not be in the business of financing Russian propaganda,” said a senior White House official who requested anonymity, stressing that these outlets were directly or indirectly controlled by the Kremlin.

Another line of attack by Washington: Prohibit the provision of “accounting, trust, and corporate formation and management consulting services to anyone in the Russian Federation,” according to the White House.

Those services are used to run multinational companies, but also potentially to circumvent sanctions or hide ill-gotten wealth, the White House official said.

The official emphasized that while the Europeans had the closest industrial links with Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom dominated the world of accounting and consulting, particularly through the “Big Four”, the four global giants of auditing and consulting Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC.

Washington has also announced new bans on the export of US products to Russia, covering a range of capital goods, from bulldozers to ventilation systems and boilers.

The United States announced on Sunday that it would impose visa restrictions on 2,600 Russian and Belarusian officials, as well as sanctions against officials at Sberbank and Gazprombank.

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