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The leaders of the G7, gathered in Bavaria, at the bedside of a world in crisis


US President Joe Biden, welcomed upon his arrival in Munich (Germany), by children in traditional Bavarian costumes, on June 25, 2022, on the eve of the G7 summit (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

The leaders of the G7 countries are meeting in the mountains of southern Germany from Sunday, at the bedside of a world in crisis, from the war in Ukraine to food security and the climate.

The leaders of the great powers, including US President Joe Biden, have an appointment from 10:00 GMT in the Bavarian Alps, for the annual summit of the club of seven industrialized countries (G7) including Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan , UK and USA.

Thousands of police are mobilized to secure the meeting, scheduled until Tuesday in a luxury complex at the foot of the peaks. On Saturday, a hundred kilometers away, thousands of demonstrators marched, without notable incident, in the streets of Munich to demand stronger action in favor of the climate.

The enchanting setting of Elmau Castle, not far from the Austrian border, promises beautiful images of the seven leaders but will not make us forget the many current crises.

– Do not “forget” Ukraine –

Continued support for Ukraine, where the Russian offensive is entering its fifth month, will be at the heart of this meeting and then the NATO summit, which will be held over two days in Madrid from June 28.

The castle of Elmau, in Bavaria, where the leaders of the G7 countries are to meet

The castle of Elmau, in Bavaria, where the leaders of the G7 countries are to meet (AFP/Archives/Christof STACHE)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, host of the G7, recalled this week: support for Ukraine will require “perseverance” because “we are still a long way” from peace negotiations between kyiv and Moscow.

The war in Ukraine could indeed last “for years”, warned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will speak on Monday by videoconference, should again request the dispatch of heavy weapons, after the Russians have just taken control of Severodonetsk (east).

Joe Biden wants to demonstrate to his allies that standing up to Russia and confronting China are complementary, not opposed, goals, according to John Kirby, White House Communications Coordinator on Strategic Issues.

The G7 summit should lead to “a set of concrete proposals to increase pressure on Russia and show our collective support for Ukraine”, assured a senior White House official.

He did not detail these possible measures while several aspects of sanctions have already been decided by the West against the regime of Vladimir Putin.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged G7 leaders not to “abandon Ukraine” on the eve of the summit, warning against any “fatigue” in supporting kyiv and announcing additional economic aid.

The White House, however, sweeps away any Western weariness: “We have not seen fractures and cracks” within NATO, said John Kirby.

– Weakened leaders –

The drastic cuts in gas delivery by Moscow, intended according to Westerners to trigger an energy crisis in Europe before a winter that promises to be tense, should be on the menu of discussions from Sunday.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife upon their arrival in Munich (Germany), June 25, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife upon their arrival in Munich (Germany), June 25, 2022 (POOL/AFP/Ludovic MARIN)

The leaders will indeed begin their talks with a session on the world economy, plagued by galloping inflation, linked in particular to the rise in the cost of energy and foodstuffs.

The participation in the G7 of Indonesia, India, Senegal, South Africa and Argentina, emerging economies particularly exposed to the risk of food shortages and the climate crisis, aims to forge common responses to these challenges. .

Climate players are also expecting concrete progress from the G7, including “planning” for the complete elimination of fossil fuels.

Bilateral discussions will complete the sessions, starting on Sunday morning with a meeting between Germany’s Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden, two leaders in difficult positions in their own countries.

The German Chancellor has thus seen his popularity drop in recent months, for lack of showing firm support for kyiv. He is betting on this G7 to restore his image in Germany and abroad.

The American president faces an even more fractured America after the Supreme Court challenged the right to abortion, in a country hit hard by high inflation.

Emmanuel Macron, their French counterpart failed a week ago to obtain an absolute majority and will have to deal with other parties, an unprecedented obligation for him. As for Mr. Johnson, weakened by the “Partygate”, he saw his party lose two local elections this week and seems on borrowed time.

© 2022 AFP

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