G7 Summit 2022: Four takeaways from Biden’s trip

But exactly how long that might last remains an open question – and a source of anxiety – for leaders now leaving the Bavarian Alps after a two-day G7 summit.

Here are four takeaways from Biden’s first major summit on his final international trip:

The war in Ukraine has rallied Western leaders to condemn Russia and apply punitive sanctions. But as the war enters its fifth month, the economic consequences of Russia’s isolation are being felt in high gas prices, a major political handicap. Meanwhile, the momentum of the war seems to favor Russia.

Reversing these parallel trends was the main objective of this year’s G7 summit. The leaders pledged to provide new security aid to Ukraine, including a new US missile defense system, the same model used to defend airspace in Washington, DC. Ammunition and radar systems are also expected in the latest delivery.

But another arms shipment is unlikely to end the war. Without a clear path to victory on the battlefield, leaders wonder how long the fighting will last – and, by extension, how much longer the economic consequences of war will weigh on the global economy.

Zelensky’s remarks to the group on Monday provided at least his perspective on the matter: He wants the war to be over by the time winter arrives. He urged the group to support a major military offensive to regain the initiative against Russia.

“Zelensky was very focused on trying to ensure that Ukraine was in as advantageous a position as possible on the battlefield in the coming months compared to the next few years, because he believes that a fierce conflict is not not in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said after the meeting.

Leaders scramble to dull the pain of war while keeping pressure on Russia

The West’s devastating sanctions package against Russia has taken dramatic toll. On Monday, the country defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution more than a century ago.

The White House said the default showed the power of Western sanctions imposed on Russia since it invaded Ukraine. At the G7 this week, leaders imposed new measures, including a ban on imports of new Russian gold.

At the same time, the sanctions have inflicted suffering on Americans due to rising gas prices, the effect of global import bans on Russian energy.

Targeting Russian energy has been a point of contention since the start of the war. And the complexities of going after one of the biggest producers in the world were confirmed in the following months. While Americans and Europeans suffer from high gas prices, Moscow continues to earn massive revenues from its oil exports, in part because of soaring prices.

A plan by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeks to reverse this trend. In recent months, she has pressed G7 countries to apply a price cap on Russian oil, limiting the amount of money Russia earns from places it still exports.

Leaders agreed to the idea at the summit this week. But the precise mechanism for doing so remains undecided. Officials said they were confident Western countries had enough leverage through their transmission and distribution networks to enforce the caps.

Leaders appear to be united on war response, for now

How and when to engage Putin had divided some of the G7 leaders, who at times expressed differences of opinion on whether the time was right to seek a negotiated settlement or push forward for a decisive victory over the battlefield.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson kicked off the talks this week, promising to rally leaders behind a plan to help Zelensky continue the fight. And while French President Emmanuel Macron previously warned of Putin’s “humiliation”, he appeared to agree with Johnson on support for Ukraine after meeting at the G7.

Biden, meanwhile, has pledged billions of dollars in security aid to Ukraine. Its main objective appears to be to keep Western leaders aligned on their goals at times when rifts are beginning to emerge.

“We have to stick together, because Putin was counting from the start that the G7 or NATO would split one way or another, but we haven’t and we’re not going to. “, he said during his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “We can’t let this aggression take the form it has and get away with it.”

At the end of the G7, it did not appear that the leaders had reached a consensus on when to renew their attempts to negotiate with Putin. But the Russian leader was still on the leaders’ minds as they sat down to a working lunch on Sunday.

“We have to show that we are tougher than Putin,” Johnson told the group as they sat down.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a suggestion: “Horseback shirtless,” he said, as the leaders laughed.

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade weighs in on Biden in Europe

On his first day at the summit, Biden told reporters that the Supreme Court’s decision two days earlier overturning Roe versus Wade was not brought up at the G7 summit.

But for his fellow leaders, it was a worrying signal from the United States. European Union Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said “many voices” at the G7 summit were “very sad and very worried” about the decision.

“We discussed gender equality and indeed there were a lot of voices, very sad and very concerned,” von der Leyen said when asked by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about the Supreme Court’s decision.

Johnson, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, called the decision “a step backwards.”

Biden decried the decision and pledged to explore ways to protect abortion access. He and his aides touted the decision as a major setback for women’s rights, and gender equality was one of the themes of this year’s G7, where leaders devoted an entire working session to the subject.

Yet during the usual family photos and working meals, the lack of gender equality in the group – eight men and one woman – was striking. It was the first time in 16 years without a nationally elected woman in the group.

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