US President Joe Biden met with G7 allies to hammer out a raft of new sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine, and was shortly to speak to the American people on a crisis that he warns will cause “catastrophic loss of life.
After a virtual, closed-door meeting which lasted an hour and 10 minutes, the group of rich Western democracies — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — said in a joint statement that Russia posed “a serious threat to the rules-based international order.
It said the seven industrial powers were “ready to act” to minimize disruptions to world energy markets as a result of Moscow’s assault on Ukraine and with sanctions already targeting a major pipeline from heavyweight energy producer Russia.
For weeks, as Russia built up tens of thousands of troops and heavy weapons on Ukraine’s border, Biden has led NATO and other European allies in trying to craft a package of what Washington says are “unprecedented” sanctions as a deterrent.
Now that the deterrent has failed, the goal is to “hold Russia accountable,” Biden said in his first comments late Wednesday in Washington, after Russian missiles began to rain down. Biden said US allies would “respond in a united and decisive way.”
Germany had earlier announced it would block the pipeline from opening for deliveries.
Now, US officials are teeing up tougher new sanctions that could include targeting bigger banks, more oligarchs close to Putin and, crucially, a ban on exports to Russia of high-tech equipment and components. It was not clear how many of these measures would be announced Thursday.
In other news – Inside Dumi Mkokstad and wife’s gender reveal party
GOSPEL singer Dumi Mkokstad and his wife Dr Ziphozenkosi Nzimande held a gender reveal party for their unborn baby, but are keeping the gender a secret from their fans.
They shared the video of the party on social media, showing snippets from the party and the family members who attended it. Learn more