Briefing

What world leaders discussed at the latest G7 summit

World leaders from the Group of 7 left the Bavarian Alps on Tuesday following the end of a two-day summit dominated in large part by the war in Ukraine. They then traveled to Madrid for a NATO summit, where they'll meet with their fellow alliance members for yet another Russia-focused discussion. Here's everything you need to know:

When and where was the summit? Who was there?

The 48th annual G7 summit was held in Schloss Elmau, Krün in Germany's Bavarian Alps from June 26 to June 28, 2022. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and U.S. President Joe Biden were all in attendance, as were European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

Seven of the world's richest countries comprise the G7, which meets annually to "typically discuss global security, economic, and climate concerns," Time reports. The group was first formed following the 1973 oil crisis, when France, Italy, Japan, the U.K. the U.S., and West Germany met to discuss and tackle resulting economic issues. Canada joined three years later. Russia was also at one point a member — joining in 1998 — only to lose its invite after annexing Crimea in 2014. 

What did attendees discuss?

Quite a lot.

In a virtual meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly told Western leaders that he'd like his country's war with Russia to conclude by the end of 2022. "Zelensky was very much focused on trying to ensure that Ukraine is in as advantageous a position on the battlefield as possible in the next months as opposed to the next years, because he believes that a grinding conflict is not in the interest of the Ukrainian people," U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said after the meeting, as quoted by CNN. The G7 will support Ukraine "for as long as it takes," leaders vowed Monday.

Meanwhile, the group eventually agreed to investigate a price cap on Russian oil so as to "starve" the Kremlin of related revenues (though the exact method that will be used to do this remains undecided). "This is a very ambitious and demanding project, and there is still a lot of work to be done," Germany's Scholz said of the initiative at a press conference. Leaders also issued a statement of support for Ukraine and committed to new sanctions on Russia, including those targeting Russian military defense supply chains as well as the import of Russian gold. 

The issue of global food shortages made its way onto the summit agenda, as well, with the group of allies pledging to spend $4.5 billion this year to counter food insecurity as a result of the Russian invasion. International food prices have soared since the conflict began, considering Russia and Ukraine combined account for approximately 30 percent of the world's wheat supply and 75 percent of its sunflower oil supply, The New York Times reports. The U.S. has committed $2.7 billion of the $4.5 billion pledge.

And of course, leaders spent some time discussing China, who they believe should "urge Russia to halt the war, respect human rights in Hong Kong, refrain from military action against Taiwan, and improve its non-transparent trade and economic practices," The Associated Press summarizes.

As for other long-standing issues, members also pledged Tuesday to create a "climate club" for countries looking to more ambitiously tackle climate change and global warming. Germany's Scholz, who spearheaded the move, said the goal of the club will be to "ensure that protecting the climate is a competitive advantage, not a disadvantage." Prospective members will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously "[harmonizing their measures]," AP writes.

Did current events in the U.S. come up?

Biden said on his first day at the summit that the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade had not come up. That said, some of Biden's fellow leaders did, it seems, express their concern over the ruling, CNN notes.

"We have discussed gender equality and indeed, there were many voices, very sad and very worried," the EU's von der Leyen told CNN's Christine Amanpour when asked about the vote. The U.K.'s Boris Johnson also decried the decision as a "backward step" during an interview with the network's Jake Tapper.

Meanwhile, as Biden's Europe trip continues, top administration officials will this week travel around the country to "reassure Americans that combating inflation remains a top priority for the White House," CNN reported Monday. The traveling officials are expected to promote the bipartisan infrastructure framework, as well as the steps Biden has already taken to combat inflation (though the president himself has acknowledged there's not much he's able to do), CNN added.

What's on the docket for the NATO summit?

Later Tuesday, leaders from all 30 NATO member countries — including those in the G7 — arrived in Madrid, Spain for yet another summit, where they plan to declare Russia "the most immediate threat to our security," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The meeting, which runs until Thursday, is also expected to see the alliance "significantly bolster" its "defense posture along its eastern edge, including ramping up troop levels and positioning heavy equipment," CNN writes. Further, NATO leaders on Tuesday successfully reached a deal with Turkey, convincing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to drop his opposition to Finland and Sweden's membership applications and open the door for their accession.

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