Biden speaks with German chancellor ahead of G7 summit

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Biden speaks with German chancellor ahead of G7 summit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (L) and US President Joe Biden (R) are pictured during the G7 Summit at Elmau Castle in Kruen, Germany, on Sunday. Photo by Christian Bruna/EPA-EFE

President Joe Biden on Sunday met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ahead of a summit with the leaders of the Group of Seven.

During the meeting, Biden and Scholz “underlined their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” as well as continued efforts to provide Ukraine with support to defend against Russia’s invasion, according to a White House readout of the meeting.

“The leaders also discussed efforts to alleviate the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine on global food and energy security,” according to the readout.

“The president welcomed Germany’s historic commitment to significantly boost defense spending and meet its NATO commitments, which will strengthen the Alliance’s long-term deterrence and defense posture.”

In brief remarks before the meeting, Biden and Scholz said that the nations will “continue working on the economic challenges” each faces while standing together against Russia’s aggression in Europe.

Biden and his G7 counterparts are expected to discuss issues with the global economy such as energy security and the food crisis during the summit’s first session Sunday, a senior administration official said on a press call.

The senior administration official said that Biden and the leaders of G7 nations are also expected to discuss investing in global infrastructure “in particular in the emerging and developing world” during the summit’s second session.

Biden and other G7 leaders will “continue to work to hold Putin accountable” while the United States and Britain will announce that G7 leaders will ban imports of Russian gold, the senior administration official said.

“The U.S. has rallied the world in imposing swift and significant economic costs to deny Putin the revenue he needs to finance his war,” the senior administration official said. “In this case, gold, after energy, is the second-largest export for Russia.”

The Treasury Department will make the formal determination to prohibit the import of new gold into the United States on Tuesday.

The senior administration official said that the G7 is expected to take a “series of steps” on top of the gold ban that are “designed to increase pressure” on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We think that the step forward that’s being taken with gold is a very important illustration of the additional steps that we expect to be taken now and in the weeks ahead,” the senior administration official said on the call.

“This is a key export, a key source of revenue, a key alternative for Russia, in terms of their ability to transact in the global financial system.”

When asked to discuss whether Russia will be able to evade the measure, the senior administration official said that an “ongoing area of focus” for the G7 has been to identify and block areas “where evasion risk is becoming more prominent.”

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