SCHLOSS ELMAU, Germany – Since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, the first in-person gathering of the world's seven leading economies kicked off in Germany on Sunday with leaders discussing the war-driven food, and energy crises.
The three-day event is taking place at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, with its agenda considered more urgent than ever as the war in Ukraine continues.
Having taken the G7 presidency from the UK in January, Germany has set a goal of “progress towards an equitable world.”
Under the theme, issues such as a sustainable planet, economic stability and transformation, healthy lives, and sustainable investments will be discussed.
As the UN has repeatedly warned of an "unprecedented global hunger crisis" as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, the G7 leaders are expected to make new commitments to food security and tackling rising energy prices.
On Saturday, a large number of protesters gathered in Munich to demand a fight against extreme hunger, provision of social justice and a halt to the usage of fossil fuels.
From Attac (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and for Citizens' Action) to the World Wildlife Fund, around 15 groups critical of globalization are expected to participate in the demonstrations during the summit.
Focus on far-reaching consequences of war
The situation in Ukraine is expected to top the agenda with leaders promising more help to the country.
The world's seven richest nations will announce a ban on Russian gold imports, US President Joe Biden said on Sunday.
"Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia," he announced on Twitter.
"We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. The negative global impact of Russia’s war will be front and center of our exchanges at the G7," said EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.
Also, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made it once again clear that the government will continue to support Ukraine.
“Now is not the time to give up on Ukraine, they need the support and resolve of the G7 more than ever," he said on Twitter.
"The UK will continue to back Ukraine every step of the way because we know that their security is our security, and their freedom is our freedom," he added.
Johnson is expected to tell the summit leaders that President Zelenskyy needs Western backing more than ever.
According to the UK government statement, the UK is ready to guarantee another half a billion dollars in loans to the Ukrainian government, bringing the total UK economic and humanitarian support to over £1.5 billion (USD1.8 billion).
The German police, meanwhile, completed preparations to tackle possible demonstrations during the event.
More than 20,000 police will be on duty for the security of the G7 leaders.
The 4-kilometer area around Elmau Palace, where the summit will be held, was closed.
Protesters will also open a protest camp against the G7 Summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where approximately 750 people are expected to attend.
A total of 260 containers were installed at the Olympic Ski Stadium in the city in which police, prosecutors, and judges will work in 24-hour shifts, trying those detained during the demonstrations.
Meanwhile, during the G7 Summit, Germany temporarily suspended the Schengen application, which envisages free movement, for security reasons.
The German Ministry of Internal Affairs started to conduct temporary controls on the borders of Germany between June 13 and July 3, 2022.
To prevent potential violent people from entering Germany, border controls are applied at the country's land, air, and sea borders.
US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend the summit.
In addition to the seven states, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Senegal, and Argentina are also invited.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to speak at two sessions that include issues like the environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality, and democracy.
Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, the heads of state and government of partner countries, and chairpersons of the international organizations will also be involved via a video link. (Anadolu)