The G7 and NATO countries will seek, from Sunday (26), to reaffirm their unity with Russia at their summit meetings, as the war in Ukraine enters its fifth month with no sign of ending in the short term. deadline.
G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, will meet at Elmau Castle, in the Bavarian Alps, in southern Germany, at the annual meeting of the club of the seven most industrialized countries in the world: Germany, Canada, France, Italy , Japan, United Kingdom and United States.
Both this meeting and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit, which will take place in Madrid for two days starting on Tuesday (28), will focus on supporting Ukraine in the face of the Russian offensive.
The head of the German government, Olaf Scholz, host of the G7, reminded this week that support for Ukraine will require “perseverance”, but stressed that “we are still a long way away” from peace talks between Kiev and Moscow.
“Russia’s aggression has made the seven countries more aware that they need each other,” noted Stefan Meister, a researcher at the German institute DGAP. This is even more evident when one considers that inflation and the threat of an energy and food crisis could test the resistance of the international community.
The war in Ukraine could last “years”, warned the Norwegian Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.
Another Marshall Plan?
Leaders could discuss the possibility of implementing a sort of Marshall Plan to rebuild Ukraine, an idea launched by Scholz this week that could cost “billions” and involve “several generations”.
Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky will talk to G7 leaders on Monday via video conference, and he is expected to call for more weapons and more pressure on Russia.
He will also remotely participate in the NATO summit, which will bring together 30 countries, in the last stage of an intense diplomatic marathon that began this Thursday (23) with a meeting of European leaders in Brussels, in which Ukraine obtained the status of candidate for the European Union (EU).
The alliance must reveal its plans to protect its eastern flank, close to Russia. A defensive reinforcement that will be accompanied by a new “strategic concept”, the first revision of the alliance’s agenda in ten years, which should harden its position in relation to Russia and mention, for the first time, the challenges presented by China.
However, Turkey’s blockade of Swedish and Finnish candidacies casts a shadow over the allies’ show of unity.
‘On the edge’
To “stay the course” in relation to Russia, it is not necessary to ease economic sanctions, nor should it reduce military and financial support to Ukraine, stressed the German chancellor.
However, after several rounds of sanctions, “we are at the limit, especially with regard to energy sanctions” which “have a high cost for the G7 and for the world economy”, highlighted Stefan Meister.
The German government accuses Moscow of drastically reducing gas supplies to provoke an energy crisis in Europe before winter. In addition, several regions are being affected by rising food prices.
In this context, the participation of Argentina, Indonesia, India, Senegal and South Africa in the G7 sends an important message.
“A crucial challenge is to convince many non-Western countries that are skeptical of sanctions that the West takes their concerns into account,” said Thorsten Brenner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute.