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G7, NATO leaders to ratchet up pressure on Russia, keep eye on China: US officials

President Joe Biden leaves Saturday to meet with other G7 leaders in southern Germany before heading to Madrid for a summit where NATO will agree new force posture commitments, and Washington will announce steps to strength European security.

June 23, 2022 / 06:19 AM IST

"There was commitment to take action in response to what we're seeing." The official said the G7 had moved far from three years ago when the final communique made no mention of China.

Leaders from the Group of Seven rich democracies and the NATO alliance will work to increase pressure on Russia over its war in Ukraine next week, while underscoring their continued concerns about China, senior U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden leaves Saturday to meet with other G7 leaders in southern Germany before heading to Madrid for a summit where NATO will agree new force posture commitments, and Washington will announce steps to strength European security.

Inclusion, for the first time, of leaders from Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand in the NATO summit was aimed at showing that the war in Ukraine had not detracted from Western nations' focus on China, the officials said.

G7 leaders were also expected to address China's "coercive economic practices," which have become even more aggressive in recent years, one of the officials said.

"Russia's war against Ukraine has galvanized our partnerships around the world," a second official said. "It's also showing how Ukraine is not causing us to take our eye off the ball on China. In fact, quite the opposite."

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In fact, a new strategic concept to be endorsed by NATO leaders will address threats posed by both Russia and China, the official said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address both meetings virtually, mapping out his battle plan and the security assistance his country needs to carry it out, U.S. officials said.

Biden will meet bilaterally with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose country holds the G7 rotating presidency this year, and would meet in Madrid with Spanish President Pedro Sanchez and the king of Spain, the officials said.

There was no announcement about any bilateral meeting between Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is blocking plans for Finland and Sweden to join NATO, but one of the officials said Washington was confident that Turkey's concerns would be addressed and consensus could be reached.
Reuters
first published: Jun 23, 2022 06:21 am
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