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G7 hopes to show unity on Ukraine despite darkening economic outlook

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The Group of Seven (G7) will seek to demonstrate their long-term support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression at a summit starting on Sunday even as the war’s growing impact on the world economy, according to Reuters.

The leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan will discuss how to tighten the screws on the Kremlin at the three-day summit at Schloss Elmau, a luxury hotel in a Bavarian mountain valley.

But as the war drags into its fifth month, they will be wary of any sanctions that could further darken the global economic outlook. The conflict has already created food and energy shortages that are stoking inflation and global hunger.

Price rises are hitting the global south particularly hard, where countries were already struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crises.

Speaking ahead of the back-to-back European Union, G7 and NATO summits, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the German parliament on Wednesday the task was greater than sending the message that the West was as united as never before.

The summits must also show „that the democracies of the world stand together in the fight against Putin’s imperialism, as well as in the fight against hunger, poverty, health crises and climate change,” he said.

If the West did not show solidarity with the countries of the global south – many of which have criticized Western sanctions – Russia and China would benefit, he warned.

Finding a new approach to China that reflected human rights concerns, supply chain problems and the often negative impact of its global investments would play a „very big role” at the summit, a German government official said.

G7 leaders will launch a new infrastructure initiative aimed at offering low- and middle-income countries high-quality, transparent investments, senior U.S. officials said, a clear response to China’s Belt and Road project, which has been criticised for opaque contracts and onerous loan terms.

Scholz has invited as partner nations the leaders of Senegal – which holds the rotating chair of the African Union – and Argentina – which holds the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States – as well as India, Indonesia and South Africa.