For two days here in the German Alps, President Obama has struggled with many of the issues — Russian aggression, the Islamic State, climate change and sensitive nuclear negotiations with Iran — that will define his legacy. The meetings of the leaders of the seven largest industrialized democracies have been dominated by the fighting in Ukraine and the need to maintain tough sanctions designed to punish Russia for its backing of separatist fighters there.
American troops are training Ukrainian forces on Russia’s doorstep, a move seen as a major provocation by Vladimir Putin’s regime. The live-fire drills and counter-insurgency exercises involving about 300 U.S. paratroopers are a key bone of contention for the Moscow, which the West accuses of helping to arm pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine.
World leaders at the Group of Seven summit should present a united front and uphold the sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions against Ukraine, a top European Union official urged Sunday. European Union President Donald Tusk spoke ahead of the official opening of the G-7 summit, as thousands of German police patrolled a security perimeter around an exclusive Bavarian hotel and a few hundred protesters chanted anti-capitalist slogans.
Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations backed a tough line toward Moscow at the start of a summit in the Bavarian Alps, with U.S. President Barack Obama urging the gathering to stand up to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Expectations are high ahead of the G7 summit in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel told DW what she hopes the talks will achieve. And she said absent Russia still had a vital role to play, particularly in Syria.
The State Department reported on Friday that Russia had failed to correct a violation of a landmark arms control accord between Washington and Moscow that prohibits intermediate-range ground-launched missiles. At issue is the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the I.N.F. Treaty, which the Obama administration says the Russians breached by testing a cruise missile.
Russia is not a threat to Nato, President Vladimir Putin says. “Only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack Nato,” Mr Putin told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Russia’s relations with its global counterparts have sunk to new lows as Moscow appears to have refused an olive branch from one of its biggest trading partners, Germany. On Thursday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations should allow Russia back into the group in the longer term.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday that Russia should never be allowed back in the Group of 7 as long as Vladimir Putin is president. Harper said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press that he expects the group won’t ever let Putin back in. He made the remarks ahead of his trip to Ukraine and the Group of 7 meeting in Germany this week.
The Obama administration is weighing a range of aggressive responses to Russia’s alleged violation of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, including deploying land-based missiles in Europe that could pre-emptively destroy the Russian weapons. This “counterforce” option is among possibilities the administration is considering as it reviews its entire policy toward Russia in light of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea and other actions the U.S. deems confrontational in Europe and beyond.