Leaders of the Group of 7 Nations pledged during a virtual meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday to ban or phase out Russian oil, aiming to further undermine Russia’s economic status as it pursues its invasion of Ukraine.
The group did not provide details, but said in a statement that the plans would be implemented in a “timely and orderly manner, and in a manner that gives the world time to secure alternative supplies.”
Oil bans are a double-edged sword. Oil is a top export for Russia, and Moscow would almost certainly take a major economic hit if it were banned, but parts of Europe are highly dependent on its oil and therefore vulnerable.
The United States, which imported relatively few energy resources from Russia, has already banned the import of Russian oil and gas.
The European Union, which gets about a quarter of its crude oil imports from Russia, has also announced plans to phase out Russian oil, but is still negotiating to formalize the decision. The bloc is too dependent on Russian gas to consider banning it any time soon, but has plans to gradually become independent from it.
The G7 also said it would take steps to halt the provision of key services on which Russia depends and tighten sanctions against the financial elites who support President Vladimir V. Putin, as well as their relatives.
The White House also announced new sanctions on Sunday against three Russian state television channels and said it would ban Americans from providing accounting or consulting services to anyone in Russia.
The Group of 7, which includes some of the world’s largest economies, said member states — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — would also continue to provide billions of dollars in military aid and intelligence to Ukraine, which helped the country thwart Russian forces.
At Sunday’s meeting, Mr Zelensky argued the case of Ukraine to world leaders and said his ultimate goal was to force the complete withdrawal of the Russian military.
The G7 said in its statement that member states had assured Mr Zelensky of their “continued willingness to make further commitments to help Ukraine secure its free and democratic future.”
The call came on the day G7 leaders commemorated the end of World War II and as Russia prepared for the annual celebration of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
“We remain united in our determination that President Putin must not win his war against Ukraine,” the G7 statement said. “We owe it to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in World War II.”
Mr Putin’s actions, he said, “bring shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people.”
Prior to the call, the UK said it would provide an additional £1.3 billion (about $1.6 billion) in aid and military support to Ukraine. The new funding nearly doubles the existing £1.5 billion in aid.