What do you watch from Joe Biden’s trip to the Group of Seven?


Higher costs – driven in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – will be central to Sunday’s agenda, as leaders simultaneously work to maintain pressure on Moscow while also looking for ways to mitigate price hikes that have cost them both politically.

It can be a difficult task. The Russian energy embargo has contributed to higher global oil prices, but leaders are loath to ease sanctions they believe are having an impact on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economy. One area they have announced action on: a ban on imports of new Russian gold.

“This is a major export, a major source of revenue, and a major alternative to Russia, in terms of its ability to transact in the global financial system. Taking this step is cutting that ability,” a senior administration official said.

This ruling tempered the divisions plaguing American politics and institutions, which have been a troubling subtext for leaders monitoring Biden’s attempts to restore American leadership.

Here are several things to see at the G7 Summit on Sunday:

find balance

Biden and his fellow G7 leaders will discuss ways to punish Russia while still managing an unstable global economy during the first day of talks Sunday in the Bavarian Alps. A senior White House official said the talks would produce some announcements and “muscle moves”.

“A big focus for the G7 and the leaders will be, you know, not only how to manage the challenges in the global economy as a result of Mr. Putin’s war, but also how to continue to hold Mr. Putin to account and hold Mr. Europe: “to make sure he gets costs and consequences for what he’s doing.”

Biden’s first participation on Sunday will be a one-on-one meeting with the summit host, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, It was followed by the opening session of the Group of Seven which focused on global economic issues exacerbated by the Ukraine war.

“I think leaders will look for ways to do two things: One, to continue to hold Mr. Putin to account and to increase the costs and consequences of his war on him and on his economy,” Kirby said. And second, to minimize as much as possible the impact of high oil prices and the way energy has been used as a weapon on nations, particularly on the continent, but also around the world.

That balance will determine this year’s G7, as leaders work to maintain the pressure campaign on Putin while facing rising inflation that has cost some leaders politically at home.

Biden said on Twitter Sunday morning that leaders had agreed to announce a ban on new gold imports from Russia. Gold is Russia’s second largest export after energy.

Biden has weathered some of the harshest setbacks as he has seen his approval ratings drop amid price hikes.

A European official said before this: “There may be increased pressure in American politics, in the sense that some people in the primaries we saw already said I don’t care about Ukraine. What matters is the cost of living.” week trip. “And if the president gets a jump in the polls because of his leadership of Ukraine, that will dissipate very quickly. So there will be that effect.”

Division back home

Biden announced Friday that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has “made the United States out of the developed nations of the world” by stripping it of the right to abortion nationwide.

Two days later, the leaders of those nations will face off in the Bavarian Alps, leaving behind a rapidly divided country whose fractured policies have alarmed the world.

The White House does not believe that governance or the divisions now dividing America will affect Biden’s discussions.

“There are real national security issues here that need to be discussed and the president is not at all concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision is going to walk away from that at all,” Kirby said.

However, four of the six fellow leaders Biden joined in Germany found the ruling formidable enough to impress themselves.

“I have to tell you, I think it’s a huge step back,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a “devastating setback”. He also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron and Schulze.

It remains to be seen whether or not the verdict will come out in Biden’s private discussions. But the changed and radically divided country he left behind will never be as far from his mind as he represents on the world stage.

China Challenge

At last year’s G7 summit on England’s Corniche coast, Biden pressed his fellow leaders to introduce tough new language condemning China’s human rights abuses in a final statement. In the lead-up to the document, the group occasionally had heated conversations behind closed doors about its collective approach to China.

This topic could lead to fraught conversations because some European leaders do not necessarily share Biden’s view of China as an existential threat. However, the president has repeatedly made it clear that he hopes to persuade his fellow leaders to take a tougher line. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has amplified the president’s repeated warnings of authoritarian regimes versus democracies.

On Sunday afternoon, Biden, along with other leaders, is expected to unveil an infrastructure investment program targeting low- and middle-income countries designed to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Beijing has poured billions into building roads, railways, and ports around the world to establish new trade and diplomatic ties. Biden has offered a similar program in the past, called Build Back Better World.

But with that name seemingly retired, the White House is renewing efforts in Germany.

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