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G7 to discuss Russian diamond exports and China concerns

May 18, 2023

Russia sanctions focusing on its $5 billion diamond industry is on the agenda as the seven leading democratic economies come together in Hiroshima, Japan. China's economic influence is also up for discussion.

US President Joe Biden meets Fumio Kishida, Japan's prime minister
US President Joe Biden is among those in attendance in HiroshimaImage: Kiyoshi Ota/REUTERS

G7 leaders arrived in Hiroshima, Japan, on Thursday to consider tougher sanctions against Russia amid its ongoing war in Ukraine.

G7 nations have already deployed sanctions on Russian banks and military organizations, as well as placing price caps on Moscow's crude oil.

China's "economic coercion" is also expected to feature highly on the agenda in the city on Japan's Honshu Island, with efforts to insulate the economies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The seven major economies are seeking ways to reduce their strategic dependence on imports from Beijing, and plan to diversify supply chains and markets to fend off this possibility.

Stricter enforcement of sanctions

Talks in Hiroshima are also expected to center around tighter enforcement and a range of new measures on goods, including Moscow's roughly $5 billion (around €4.6 billion) annual trade in diamonds.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who hails from Hiroshima, began proceedings by meeting with US President Joe Biden after landing at a nearby military base on Thursday.

The leaders both agreed that sanctions against Russia needed to continue.

"We are in unison about working closely with like-minded countries including the G7 members, and we agreed to continue strict sanctions against Russia as well strong support for Ukraine," Kishida told reporters.

Kishida then held talks with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with both agreeing to cooperate on matters of defense, clean energy, cybersecurity and semiconductors. 

Britain has been seeking a closer trading relationship with Japan and other Asian countries since exiting the European Union.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will also attend the three-day summit, which commences on Friday.

In addition to the leaders of the G7, representatives of the European Union will also attend the gathering.

Olaf Scholz speaks at Global Solutions summit

kb,jsi/msh (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)

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