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The G7's United Stand Against Russian Aggression and Economic Coercion

As the conflict in Ukraine escalates, with Kyiv experiencing its ninth attack this month, the G7 leaders have taken a united stand against Russia's aggression and economic coercion. In response to the violence, which has seen one person killed and two wounded in Odesa, Ukraine's Air Force has managed to shoot down 29 out of 30 Russian missiles overnight. Meanwhile, Ukraine's army remains in an "increased state of readiness" for a counter-offensive, and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has rejected a peace plan that would involve giving up territory to Russia.

The G7 has agreed on sanctions against Russia during a summit in Japan, aiming to "starve Russia's war machine." The US has cut off 70 companies from exports and imposed 300 sanctions against individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft. The G7 also imposed a $60 per-barrel price cap on Russian oil and diesel last year, while the UK has banned Russian diamonds and imports of metals, targeting 86 individuals and companies.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy attended the G7 summit in Hiroshima on Sunday. US President Biden has already agreed to allow the training of Ukrainian pilots on American F-16 fighter jets, with training taking place outside Ukraine at sites in Europe in the coming weeks.

The conflict has seen the eight-month-long battle for the city of Bakhmut, the longest and bloodiest battle in the ongoing war. Analysts believe that Bakhmut's fall would give Russia tactical advantages but not decide the war's outcome. The G7 Hiroshima summit concluded on May 21, with the communiqué released a day before the closing. In addition to targeting Russia, the G7 communiqué also targets China, mentioning the country 20 times.

Critics argue that the G7 is serving US strategic interests rather than international welfare and that cooperation with China is the true path of "derisking" for the Western world. G7 leaders reaffirm their support for Ukraine in their final communique. The White House has permitted allied countries to supply Ukraine with US-built F-16 fighter planes.

In a united stand against economic coercion, G7 leaders have agreed on an initiative to counter such tactics from actors like China and Russia. They have committed to deepening cooperation on hardening supply chains and have established a new body to deal with "economic coercion."