G7 governments have announced plans to ban the import of Russian oil to punish Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.
The group – which includes the United States – made the announcement Sunday.
It appeared as part of a list of new sanctions, and said: ‘First, we commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil.
‘We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies.’
Their statement continued: ‘As we do so, we will work together and with our partners to ensure stable and sustainable global energy supplies and affordable prices for consumers, including by accelerating reduction of our overall reliance on fossil fuels and our transition to clean energy in accordance with our climate objectives.’
The G7 is comprised of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US. The European Union, which has 27 member states, is also considered an honorary member.
Many of the G7 nations’ continued purchase of Russian oil and gas by Ukrainian allies – including Germany – has sparked accusations that they’re indirectly funding Putin’s flagging war effort.
Other sanctions listed Sunday include trying to ‘prohibit or otherwise prevent the provision of key services on which Russia depends’ to isolate its economy.
Further details on the nature of these services haven’t been shared, and the G7 made a separate point announcing fresh plans to target Russia’s banks and its financial system.
The G7 announced fresh plans to target Russia’s ‘financial elites and family members who support President Putin in his war efforts and squander the resources of the Russian people.’
Last week, Italian authorities seized Putin’s $750 million superyacht the Scheherazade to stop it from being taken into international waters.
Other Russian oligarchs have also seen their yachts, homes and businesses targeted. Roman Abramovich is being forced to sell his London-based soccer club Chelsea FC at a loss after its finances were frozen by the UK government over Abramovich’s longstanding ties to Putin.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged G7 nations and their allies to take the harshest line against Putin possible since his country was invaded in February.
But the US and others have refused to heed his calls to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, over fears such a move would amount to a direct conflict with Russia and trigger an apocalyptic World War Three.
The sanctions on Sunday come on the heels of news that the Italian Police has moved to seize a £500million superyacht rumored to belong to Putin.
The Scheherazade been out of the water at the Porto di Carrara marina near Massa, in northern Italy, since late summer 2020 when it arrived just months after being launched to undergo a re-fit.
Last week, it was moved back into the ocean, according to the Daily Telegraph, as crew members were spotted taking large tarpaulins off of her deck and carrying out inspections.
The vessel’s British captain, Guy Bennett, was served with paperwork telling him it was not allowed to set sail.
Locals feared that the ship – 450ft long and equipped with its own spas, swimming pools, a gym and two helipads – would depart the marina before being seized.
Authorities in the Italian port of Marina di Carrara near Pisa had been trawling through paperwork in a bid to identify the vessel’s ultimate owner since March.
Supporters of jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny have established The Scheherazade’s Russian crew were all members of the Russian tyrant’s personal protection service.
However, they have since been replaced by a skeleton crew of Britons who have been told they must remain onboard for the time being.
In April, Britain, the United States and the European Union unveiled measures designed to weaken the Russian war machine and force it to withdraw from Ukraine.
The UK moved to freeze the assets of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and the Credit Bank of Moscow in what Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said were ‘some of our toughest sanctions yet’.
The UK committed to end all imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of the year, with gas to follow as soon as possible. Imports of Russian iron and steel products will be banned and a further eight oligarchs have also been added to the sanctions list.
The April sanctions also targeted Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, the two adult daughters of Putin’s with his former wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva.
Also hit with sanctions were the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of Russia’s Security Council, including former President and Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
Other sanctions against individuals, firms and subsidiaries have frozen major Russian banks and prohibited Russian companies from raising funds.