“Russia is in deep recession,” so goes the statement boldly spoken by the United States President Barack Obama during the Group of Seven or G-7 Summit at Schloss Elmau, Krün, Bavaria, Germany on June 8.
The U.S. President described Russia’s current actions in Ukraine to be “hurting Russia” and the Russians. Mr. Obama remarked that Russia, which has been intervening with Ukraine’s sovereignty through separatist movements, has a seriously declining economy as foreign investments are plummeting and the Russian central government reported a loss of more than $150 billion in reserves. According to Mr. Obama, Russian firms and banks are “virtually locked out of the international markets.”
“Russian energy companies are struggling to import the services and technologies they need for complex energy projects. Russian defense firms have been cut off from key technologies,” the U.S. leader said.
Mr. Obama also announced the G7 nation leaders agreed to prolong sectoral sanctions imposed on Russia until the latter implement the Minsk agreements. Explaining on the implications, Mr. Obama confirmed European Union’s sanctions will extend beyond July.
“And the G7 is making it clear that, if necessary, we stand ready to impose additional, significant sanctions against Russia,” Mr. Obama added.
On the question on whether there was a consensus reached by G7 should Russia continue to violate the Minsk agreement, Mr. Obama answered that the discussions on additional steps are still on a technical level because the first goal of G7 is to roll over the existing sanctions come the European Council meeting.
Further, Mr. Obama renewed calls urging Russia to comply with the terms of Minsk agreement and for Ukraine to deliver its corresponding obligations under the same agreement. G7, said Mr. Obama, is still nurturing hope they will not have to take additional steps.
Furthermore, Mr. Obama threw the question to Mr. Putin, asking him if he would to continue wrecking his country’s economy and continue isolating Russia in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to re-create the glories of the Soviet Empire.
This year has been the second summit boycotting Russia.
To read the entire remarks of Mr. Obama, click here.