Canada pledges more aid and loans to Ukraine as G7 targets Russian oil

SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY — Canada stands ready to help other countries turn away from Russian oil and coal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday at the end of a G7 summit in Germany centered on the war in Ukraine.

SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY — Canada stands ready to help other countries turn away from Russian oil and coal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday at the end of a G7 summit in Germany centered on the war in Ukraine.

In their final communiqué for the meeting, the G7 leaders said they were working to ensure that Russia suffered the consequences of its invasion of Ukraine and did not exploit its position as an energy producer to profit from its aggression to the detriment of vulnerable countries.

“We will continue to impose significant and immediate economic costs on President Putin’s regime for its unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine, while intensifying our efforts to counter its negative and adverse regional and global effects, including with a view to help secure global energy and food security as well as stabilize economic recovery,” the document released on Tuesday reads.

The G7 includes Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The conflict has severely tested energy markets in Europe and security of supply around the world. During the three-day summit, leaders agreed to consider a cap on the price of crude oil and oil from Russia, and even a complete ban on Russian oil and coal.

“Canada, obviously as an oil and gas producer, is making sure that in the short term we do what we can to ease the pressures,” Trudeau said at a news conference at the close of the week. Mountain peak.

“We are also looking in the medium term to expand some infrastructure, but in a way that achieves that medium to long term goal of accelerating the transition, not just of Russian oil and gas, but of our entire reliance on fossil fuels. . “

Leaders agreed there was no question of compromising on climate and biodiversity targets to deal with the growing energy crisis.

The idea of ​​banning Russian oil is still only under discussion and should be implemented carefully to mitigate the potential fallout for vulnerable countries that depend on Russia for power.

The success of a price cap would also likely depend on the cooperation of as many countries as possible, including India, which has bought cheap Russian oil.

On Monday, Trudeau met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was invited to the G7 summit by the host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The Canadian prime minister said he and Modi had had a “wide-ranging conversation” and that he was aware that Canada and India did not share the same position on Ukraine.

“I continued to impress on him that we need to recognize that the instability in the world right now was directly caused by Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, and we’re going to continue to have those conversations of frank and direct way, because that’s what the world needs,” Trudeau said Tuesday.

Trudeau also met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Tuesday, who said they would discuss solutions to the energy crisis.

“Canada is a big producer and therefore Prime Minister Trudeau’s perspective is important,” he said.

Trudeau also said Canada remains committed to supporting Ukraine in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On Sunday, as the summit in Germany was about to begin, weeks of relative calm in Kyiv were shattered when Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital.

On Monday, a Russian missile hit a shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk.

“It is important that the world does not lose its attention and focus on what is happening in Ukraine, we must and we will remain engaged until Ukraine and democracy prevail,” Trudeau said during the speech. ‘a press conference.

He announced more money for Ukraine on Tuesday, including a $200 million loan through the International Monetary Fund.

In addition to the loan to the Ukrainian government, Canada is providing $75 million in humanitarian assistance to support operations in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Assistance will include the provision of in-kind food aid, emergency cash and vouchers, protection, shelter and health services.

“If and when President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and the Ukrainians decide it is time to negotiate or move towards a resolution, to ensure that Russia is defeated in Ukraine, they must be able to negotiate from a position of strength, in a strong position,” he added. said Trudeau.

Earlier at the summit, Trudeau announced $52 million in agricultural aid, including mobile grain storage equipment to increase grain storage capacity as well as help provide rapid diagnostic tests and monitor animal diseases to enable export certification.

Unable to get crops to market due to Russian blockades at its ports, Ukraine needs to maintain the viability of its grain as potential revenue from its exports would help fund the country’s defence.

“Our farmers generally face great challenges and have proven to be inventive and creative, so we will bring that expertise to Ukraine to help as much as possible,” Trudeau said.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Canada is also sending seeds to Ukraine, including fast-growing buckwheat, to help tackle the food crisis.

By preventing grain exports from Ukraine, Russia has also intensified food shortages, leaders said in their final consensus agreement.

Leaders also agreed to step up efforts to mitigate rising food prices and shortages.

They also plan to expand their resettlement programs to accommodate the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by the conflict.

Canada will also spend $15 million to help fund demining efforts and $9.7 million for those tracking human rights abuses in Ukraine.

Trudeau’s next stop on his three-summit tour is Madrid, Spain.

Trudeau will meet with NATO allies there on Wednesday to discuss the military and defense implications of the war in Ukraine.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 28, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press