G7 threatens Russia sanctions busters with 'severe costs'
G7 leaders issued a stern warning Friday to any country abetting Russia's war in Ukraine and unveiled a raft of new sanctions aimed at intensifying Moscow's economic pain.
The leaders, who were joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, issued the warning in a virtual call marking the first anniversary of Russia's invasion, while members added a raft of new sanctions on Moscow and its supporters.
"We call on third-countries or other international actors who seek to evade or undermine our measures to cease providing material support to Russia's war, or face severe costs," the Group of Seven leaders said in a joint statement.
The statement came as both Moscow and Kyiv seek to restock their forces for intensified fighting in what analysts expect will involve offensives by both sides along the long front lines in Ukraine.
Ukraine's allies have sought to use sanctions and trade bans to choke off Russia's ability to acquire more weapons or produce them domestically using imported components.
The statement did not single out any nation as likely to support Russia.
But Iran has supplied attack drones and ammunition for tanks and artillery to Russian forces, and Washington recently warned that Beijing is weighing supplying Moscow with "lethal assistance."
China has denied those claims.
- Sanctions-skirting network -
Meanwhile the United States announced sweeping new sanctions in coordination with G7 partners targeting over 200 Russian individuals and companies, and some 30 individuals and companies in a global network that the US Treasury said was designed to evade sanctions.
Those targeted by US Treasury, State Department and Commerce Department actions include banks, mining, defense and technology industries in Russia, and government and private officials and their families tied to the war effort.
Also named were German, Swiss and Swiss-Italian businessmen who worked together to procure restricted equipment and technologies for Russian intelligence and defense buyers.
Five Chinese tech firms were on a US Commerce department list of those generally blocked from buying US goods and technologies for their support for Russian military efforts.
The US also jacked up tariffs on Russian metals and metal products, especially aluminum, aiming to punish the country's basic industries.
Britain announced parallel sanctions, and the European Union was poised to do the same.
“Over the past year, we have taken actions with a historic coalition of international partners to degrade Russia's military-industrial complex and reduce the revenues that it uses to fund its war," said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
"Our actions today with our G7 partners show that we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," she said in a statement.
- Financial aid for Kyiv -
Ahead of the G7's virtual summit, the United States announced $2 billion worth of new weaponry for Ukraine, including Himars ammunition, artillery rounds, and drone and counter-drone systems.
There were more commitments of aid marking the anniversary. The US State Department announced $10 billion in energy and budgetary assistance to Kyiv, while the World Bank set $2.5 billion in additional financing to support Ukraine government services.
Japan, which leads the G7 currently, announced earlier this week it would offer Ukraine fresh financial support worth $5.5 billion.
"Our actions today are made even more powerful because we are taking them in coordination with G7 partners, demonstrating our ongoing unity in working to ensure Russia bears costs for its brutal war," said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.