G7 summit delivers mixed results amidst political crises

The group has reached a deal on using the interests of frozen Russian assets to finance around 50 billion U.S. dollars of loan for Ukraine.

1 min read
Leaders of the G7 pose for a group photo with the skydiving flag performers at Borgo Egnazia, near the town of Fasano in Apulia Region, Italy, on June 13, 2024. (Xinhua/Li Jing)

During the ongoing G7 summit, leaders of member states gathered in southern Italy to look for common ground in challenges including the Ukraine crisis and the governance of artificial intelligence (AI).

On Friday afternoon, the group issued a joint communique, which had been the subject of much debate and disagreement among the G7 members during the drafting process.

According to the communique, the group has reached a deal on using the interests of frozen Russian assets to finance around 50 billion U.S. dollars of loan for Ukraine.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the measure as “theft” and vowed that it would not go unpunished.

Previously, the group had long been divided on how to outline such a plan. The specifics of the loan deal remain unclear and could take months to finalize in the upcoming negotiations.

Earlier in April, Russia said it was considering lowering the level of diplomatic relations with the United States if Washington took practical measures to confiscate its assets.

Another focus of the summit is the future of AI governance. There have been debates on balancing boosting innovation and mitigating potential risks. EU countries advocate stringent AI regulations, pushing for a legally binding framework, while the United States favors a more hands-off approach.

While noting a “safe, secure, and trustworthy AI,” the communique lacked concrete steps toward a unified approach, acknowledging that “approaches and policy instruments may vary across G7 members.”

Notably, the communique did not mention the issue of abortion, which was also one of the major disputes among the member states.

The summit took place at a time when leaders of the member states were facing a difficult political situation at home.

Days ago was the 2024 European Parliament Election, during which the governing parties in many G7 member states suffered a heavy setback.

Votes for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party saw its record low during the election, while French President Emmanuel Macron had to take the risk of calling new legislative elections after suffering losses to the far-right opposition.

The summit was met with fierce opposition from local citizens. Demonstrations erupted across the area, with protesters shouting “stopping the war” and “we don’t need the G7.”

Xinhua News Agency

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