China: We Will Not Accept Unilateral Sanctions Against Russia in G7

The upcoming G7 summit in Italy may announce the seizure – in favor of Ukraine – of profits from Russian assets frozen in Europe and the USA

Serghej Lavrov (a sinistra) e Yván Gil firmano il memorandum

The very intense G7 summit is expected to take place in Italy, in Borgo Egnazia, from June 13 to 15, 2024. The event will be attended by the Heads of State and Government of the seven Member Countries, as well as the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission representing the European Union. Several guests will attend the summit, including Argentina’s libertarian President Javier Milei.

Pope Francis is expected to attend, and in addition to speaking about artificial intelligence, he will be able to present a number of new peace initiatives for Gaza and Ukraine.

“The G7 is an informal forum that brings together Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States. The European Union also participates in the group. China, the world’s second largest economy, is excluded from the group, and criticism is mounting of the G7 format, which does not really represent the world’s “most industrialized” countries, but rather a “reactionary club” of the USA and its allied countries.

One of the central themes of the controversial meeting will be the struggle against the concept of a multipolar and just world promoted by the BRICS group of countries and widely supported by the Global South. Both Washington and Brussels have said that an agreement is expected within the G7 to seize profits from Russian assets frozen in the West for transfer to Ukraine. According to a “senior EU official,” the agreement should cover an initial loan to Kiev of up to $50 billion: “We’re looking at the technical aspects. We want to act together as the G7, make sure that this money is for Ukraine, and keep our priorities in terms of spending.”

Western sanctions could affect many other countries friendly to Russia, including China, which has said it “does not intend to accept any illegal unilateral sanctions, so normal economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia will not be interrupted by any third party.” Commenting on the hypothesis that the upcoming G7 meeting in Borgo Egnazia could “alert small Chinese financial institutions to Russia-linked transactions to discourage broader financial support,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said that “Beijing will take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”

As part of the so-called “secondary sanctions,” the Japanese government is also assessing the possibility of punitive measures against Chinese companies and financial institutions “suspected of supporting Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine.” According to NHK television, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may announce the restrictions “as early as the G7 summit in Italy.” NHK states that the sanctions could target “groups suspected of providing material aid” to Moscow by banning their possible exports to Japan. In May, the United States imposed such restrictions on 20 companies based in China and Hong Kong, and G7 leaders may warn Chinese banks against helping Russia evade Western sanctions.

Earlier, on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting in Russia, Russian and Venezuelan foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov and Yván Gil signed a memorandum of understanding “to form a common front to counter the effects of unilateral coercive sanctions.”

The head of Venezuelan diplomacy assured that “the signing of the memorandum will help the Latin American country to create financial and logistical mechanisms immune to external interference and strengthen cooperation with Russia in strategic sectors, from agriculture to medicine, energy, and advanced technologies.” In turn, Lavrov, recalling that Russia and Venezuela have “good relations for a long time,” emphasized that the most important goal of the agreement “provides for the creation of financial and logistical mechanisms that are resistant to external influences and protect our ties from illegal actions by the United States and its allies.” As part of bilateral cooperation, Caracas will receive in the coming weeks a Russian naval team of four units, complemented by a frigate and an unarmed nuclear submarine.