But exactly how long that question might take – and a source of concern – for leaders now leaving the Bavarian Alps after a two-day summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations.
Here are four notes from Biden’s first major summit on his latest international trip:
Reversing these parallel trends was the main objective of this year’s G7 Summit. The leaders committed to providing new security assistance to Ukraine, including a new missile defense system from the United States, the same model used to defend the airspace in Washington, DC. Ammunition and radar systems are also expected in the latest shipment.
Zelensky’s notes to the group on Monday provided at least his view on the matter: He wants to end the war by the time winter comes. He pressured the group to support a major military offensive to regain the lead against Russia.
“Zelensky has been very focused on trying to ensure that Ukraine is as advantageous on the battlefield as possible in the coming months compared to the coming years, because he believes that grinding conflict is not in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said after the meeting.
Leaders ease the pain of war while keeping pressure on Russia
The deteriorating set of sanctions imposed by the West on Russia took a heavy toll. And on Monday, the country defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution more than a century ago.
At the same time, sanctions have inflicted pain on Americans through rising gas prices, the effect of the global embargo on the import of Russian energy.
Targeting Russian energy has been a point of contention since the start of the war. The complexities of going after one of the world’s largest producers were demonstrated in the following months. While Americans and Europeans are grappling with rising gas prices, Moscow is still reaping huge revenues from its oil exports – in part due to skyrocketing prices.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s plan seeks the opposite. Over the past several months, it has lobbied the G7 countries to implement a cap on the price of Russian oil, which has limited the amount of money Russia makes from places that still export it.
Leaders agreed on the idea at the summit this week. But the exact mechanism for doing this remains unclear. Officials said they were confident that Western countries wielded enough influence through their transmission and distribution networks to enforce the caps.
The leaders seem to remain united in responding to the war, for now
How and when Putin engages has divided some G7 leaders, who have sometimes expressed differences of opinion over whether the time is right to pursue a negotiated settlement or move forward to achieve a decisive battlefield victory.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson entered talks this week pledging to rally leaders behind a plan to help Zelensky continue the fight. While French President Emmanuel Macron had previously warned against “humiliating” Putin, he appeared to have reached an agreement with Johnson on supporting Ukraine after his G7 meeting.
Meanwhile, Biden has pledged billions of dollars in security assistance to Ukraine. His main goal appears to be to keep Western leaders in line with their goals in the moments when divisions begin to emerge.
“We have to stay together because Putin was counting from the start that the G7 or NATO somehow would break up somehow but we didn’t and we won’t,” he said when he met German Chancellor Olaf Schulz. We cannot let this aggression take the form it was and get away with it.”
As the G7 concluded, the leaders do not appear to have reached any consensus on when to renew their attempts to negotiate with Putin. But the Russian leader was still on the leaders’ minds when they sat down to a working lunch on Sunday.
“We have to show that we are stronger than Putin,” Johnson told the group, sitting down.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a suggestion: “Ride a Barechested horse,” he said, while the leaders laughed.
Looming on the horizon is the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade case against Biden in Europe
On his first day at the summit, Biden told reporters that the Supreme Court’s decision two days earlier to overturn Roe v. 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 President Ursula von der Leyen said “many voices” at the G7 summit were left “very sad and deeply concerned” by the decision.
“We discussed gender equality and in fact, there were a lot of voices very sad and very worried,” von der Leyen said when asked about the Supreme Court’s decision by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Johnson, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, called the ruling a “step back.”
Biden denounced the decision and vowed to explore ways to protect access to abortion. He and his aides have framed the ruling as a major step backwards for women’s rights, and gender equality was one of this year’s G7 themes, with leaders devoting an entire working session to the topic.
However, during the usual family photos and work 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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