G7 calls on Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine

The G7 of leading democratic economic powers has again urged Russia to withdraw its troops completely from Ukraine. “Russia started this war and can end this war,” said a statement adopted by the heads of state and government at the Hiroshima summit in Japan.

“We underscore that there can be no just peace without the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops and military equipment, and any call for peace must take this into account.”

At the site where the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945, the G7 issued a statement reminding Russia that even the threat of using nuclear weapons was unacceptable. The Heads of State and Government also reaffirm their readiness to continue supporting Ukraine, including militarily, in line with Ukraine’s needs. However, they do not become more specific. The statement does not go into the discussion about the delivery of western-style fighter jets.

diamonds and threats

The leading Western industrialized nations also want to restrict trade in diamonds from Russia. The aim is to reduce state revenues used to finance the illegal war against Ukraine, according to a statement that was passed. There should also be cooperation with partner countries.

The G7 group threatened consequences for states and companies that support Russia’s war. They would have to reckon with “significant costs,” said the statement, which was endorsed by the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States, as well as top officials of the European Union.

According to the text, further sanctions are planned in addition to the trade restrictions for diamonds. Companies with connections to the Russian war economy, but also the financial sector, were named as possible targets.

Russia is the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds

There were initially no details on the planned diamond sanctions. The summit statement simply says it is about coordinated action, including diamond-tracing technologies. According to information from EU circles, this is to ensure that precious stones traded via countries such as India and the United Arab Emirates can still be identified as Russian diamonds even after they have been resold. In the EU, the trade in Russian diamonds has already fallen by around 80 percent as a result of voluntary commitments, it said.

Russia is the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds. The trade in gemstones is an important industry for the country and a significant source of income. The state diamond promoter Alrosa had revenues of 332 billion rubles (around 4 billion euros) in 2021 – the last year in which it disclosed its figures.

So far, however, the EU has not restricted trade. One of the reasons has so far been resistance from Belgium. The Flemish port city of Antwerp has been considered the diamond center of the world since the 16th century.

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