G7 countries pledge to stop Russia oil imports
The statement from the Group of Seven - France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States - did not specify exactly what commitments each country will make to move away from Russian energy.
“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,” the joint statement said on May 8.
“This will hit hard at the main artery of Putin’s economy and deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war,” the White House said.
The West has so far displayed close coordination in its announcements of sanctions against Russia, but has not moved at the same pace when it comes to Russian oil and gas.
The United States, which was not a major consumer of Russian hydrocarbons, has already banned their import.
But Europe is far more reliant on Russian oil. The European Union has already said it is aiming to cut its reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds this year, though Germany has opposed calls for a full boycott.
Washington also announced a new round of sanctions against Russia in a White House statement on May 8, focusing on two major areas: the media, and access by Russian companies and wealthy individuals to world-leading U.S. accounting and consulting services.
The U.S. will sanction Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1, and NTV Broadcasting Company. Any U.S. company will be prohibited from financing them through advertising or selling them equipment.
“U.S. companies should not be in the business of funding Russian propaganda,” said a senior White House official.
Another line of attack by Washington: banning the provision of “accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services to any person in the Russian Federation,” according to the White House.
Those services are used to run multinational companies, but also potentially to circumvent sanctions or hide ill-gotten wealth, the White House official said.
The official stressed that while the Europeans had the closest industrial links with Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom dominated the world of accounting and consulting, notably through the “Big Four” - the four global audit and consulting giants Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC.
Washington has also announced new bans on the export of American products to Russia, covering a range of capital goods from bulldozers to ventilation systems and boilers.