G7 threatens further Russia sanctions

2015-06-08 16:58
Angela Merkel (AP)

Angela Merkel (AP)

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Elmau - The Group of Seven (G7) leaders have threatened to strengthen sanctions against Russia, if the situation in eastern Ukraine worsens, the final summit communique will say, according to officials who spoke to dpa on Monday.

At their meeting in southern Germany, the G7 leaders also agreed to back a binding target to limit global warming to 2°C.

The agreement represented a significant win for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had joined French President Francois Hollande in calling on the G7 leaders to back efforts to tackle global warming in the run-up to a climate change conference in Paris later this year.

Both Merkel and Hollande are keen to avoid a repeat of a 2009 conference in Copenhagen, which ended in disarray and was seen as a setback for attempts to address global warming.

The leaders of the world's major economies have also been determined to demonstrate solidarity in the face of what US President Barack Obama called "Russian aggression in Ukraine."

Echoing Obama's remarks, Merkel told the German state broadcaster ZDF on Sunday: "I'm assuming that we will send a united signal from here.

"Sanctions can only be lifted if the conditions under which they were imposed are no longer there and the problems have been solved," the chancellor said.

Global warming topped the agenda on the summit's final day.

As a former environment minister and a trained scientist, Merkel has supported action on climate change through most of her political career.

Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the G7, which in addition to the US also includes Britain, Italy, Canada, Japan and France.

Monday's G7 summit was also attended by the leaders of Iraq and key African nations - Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal - as the G7 turned its focus to combating terrorism, economic development and the role of women.

The G7 leaders are also thought to have discussed with African leaders the Mediterranean refugee crisis, which has emerged as a major issue in Europe.

The huge number of people trying to flee Africa and find a better future in Europe - many of whom die on the way - is in particular a major concern for Italy, which is often the refugees' first point of entry to Europe.

Read more on:    g7  |  russia  |  germany  |  climate change

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