• Germany's news in English

G7 condemns 'Russian aggression in Ukraine'

AFP · 8 Jun 2015, 08:23

Published: 08 Jun 2015 08:23 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While excluding Russian President Vladimir Putin for a third time, the Group of Seven leaders have invited others beyond the club of rich nations, including Iraq's premier and Nigeria's president, who are both battling deadly Islamist violence.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was scheduled to discuss the US-led campaign to help his country battle the Islamic State group who launched a lightning offensive a year ago and have snatched over a third of the country's territory.

Abadi will also get one-on-one time with Obama to discuss the Washington-led campaign to help Baghdad recover territory lost to Islamic State militants, whose self-proclaimed "caliphate" extends deep into neighbouring Syria.

The power summit, held in a tightly-secured resort in the Bavarian Alps, was also expected to hold talks on "foreign fighters" and the threat Islamist extremism poses to their countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Another visitor to the summit, Nigeria's newly-elected President Muhammadu Buhari, was to put a "shopping list" to the G7 leaders, seeking help to fight an insurgency by Boko Haram Islamists blamed for 15,000 deaths since 2009.

Buhari has been tested with 11 separate attacks that have left at least 93 dead in the week he has been in the job.

Sanctions against Russia

The first day of the G7 was dominated by the Ukraine conflict, as Obama and the summit host, Chancellor Angela Merkel, urged the global community to stand firm against Moscow until it complies with a Ukraine ceasefire deal struck in the Belarussian capital Minsk.

"I expect that we should send a firm signal here. Not sanctions as an end to itself, but sanctions... to reach a target," Merkel told ZDF television.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canada's Stephen Harper on Saturday made a point of visiting Kiev on their way to the summit, to voice support for Ukraine's embattled leaders, as a recent flare-up in fighting in the east has left at least 28 dead.

Although Putin has insisted that "there's no need to be afraid of Russia", the latest escalation has sparked fears that the hard-won ceasefire brokered by France and Germany four months ago could be derailed.

Another pressing problem has been the haggling between debt-hit Greece and its international creditors -- the EU, ECB and IMF -- and the fear that a messy default could lead to Greece exiting the eurozone, with unknown repercussions for the world economy.

The issue was expected to arise again when the G7 leaders meet another guest in their "outreach talks" Monday, the International Monetary Fund's chief Christine Lagarde.

Climate change, China's ambitions

Greenpeace made their mark on the summit in memorable fashion, calling for the conversion to 100 percent renewable energy by projecting the message via laser onto the face of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain.

Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, meanwhile, were expected to seek consensus with G7 counterparts on another burning issue threatening the world, climate change, ahead of a year-end United Nations summit in Paris.

The aim is to send a clear signal to push other nations participating in the Paris summit to commit to reducing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, which threaten to melt ice caps and glaciers, raise sea levels and bring more violent storms and floods.

"I think we will arrive at obtaining something satisfactory -- both in terms of G7 engagements on ambitious targets and in terms of engaging on participation in financing," said a French official.

Abe was expected to draw attention to a pressing regional issue -- China's assertions over most of the disputed South China Sea, where its territorial claims clash with those of several other nations.

Alarm is growing in Asia over Beijing's reclamation works in the sea, and the United States has said China's actions were "out of step" with international norms.

Citing unnamed sources, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper said the G7 would in their joint statement closing the summit express concern about unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea, while no country would be named in the communique.

Ahead of the summit, G7 foreign ministers in April said the situation in the East and South China Seas was of concern, particularly "any unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions".


For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Eurowings union threatens cabin crew strike for Thursday
Photo: DPA.

A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will start as of Thursday if ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd