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G7 leaders show united front against Russia as Johnson jokes about group being 'tougher' than Putin

As they began their three-day G7 summit, the Western leaders seemed relaxed. Boris Johnson joked about the group being tougher than Vladimir Putin while simultaneously demonstrating unity in their response to the invasion of Ukraine.

They met to discuss ways to reduce inflation and secure energy supplies.

In the midst of speculations about the willingness of some leaders in Ukraine to support Ukraine through a prolonged conflict to come, Johnson stated that President Putin should not be allowed “hack” Russia’s neighbor with impunity.

He stated that the consequences of the current events are severe, but that the price of backing down, and the price of allowing Putin success, to hack off large parts of Ukraine to continue his program of conquest, will be much, much higher. Everyone here knows that.

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Image Boris Johnson gestures at a G7 roundtable in Germany

The US President Joe Biden was the prime minister. His counterparts from Canada and France, Germany and Italy, as well as the EU were also present. They discussed the effects of war on the global economy and had lunch with their counterparts.

In a new partnership, they announced infrastructure plans for developing countries. This was in addition to Russian or Chinese investments there. The US and other G7 members are aiming to raise $600bn (PS490bn), by 2027.

Learn more about the G7

During the traditional group photocall, which included leaders from seven leading economies the suited politicians were photographed without their ties. This was to show a more casual atmosphere in the Bavarian Alps.

As they met earlier for a roundtable discussion at Schloss Elmau’s castle resort, Mr Johnson joked that the group needed to prove they were tougher than Mr Putin.

Image: G7 leaders untied their knots as they participated in the traditional photocall. Pic by AP

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, and the prime minister discussed the history of the Russian leader being photographed without a shirt.

Johnson asked them if they should wear their jackets.

He then added, “shall you take your clothes off?” to continue his theme. He suggested that “we all need to prove we are tougher than Putin”.

Trudeau joined the fun, referring to a “bare chested horseback ride” – since Mr Putin was seen shirtless riding a horse back in 2009.

Image: Vladimir Putin, bare chested, riding a horse in 2009. Image by AP

Johnson said, “We have to show our pecs.”

During a separate meeting between Mr Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (who holds the rotating presidency of the G7), the US leader stated: “We have to make sure that we all stay together.”

Scholz responded that the “good message” was that “we all made it to remain united, which Putin never anticipated”.

Continue reading:

To overcome enormous challenges, the G7 must unite and find strength

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“We must stay together because Putin had been expecting, right from the beginning that NATO and G7 would split, but they haven’t, and we won’t,” Mr Biden responded.

The president stated, “We cannot allow this aggression to take the form that it has and get away from it.”

The summit saw the leaders announce new bans for Russian gold imports. This is the latest in a string of sanctions that aims to further isolate Russia economically after the war.

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