On 7 June 2915, leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations backed a tough line towards Moscow at the start of a summit at Kruen, Germany, with US President Barack Obama urging the gathering to stand up to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Council President Donald Tusk both said they hoped the G7 would present a united front on sanctions towards Russia. EU leaders agreed in March that sanctions imposed over Russia would stay until the Minsk ceasefire agreement was fully implemented.
However, the crises in Ukraine and Greece overshadowed the discussions. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking before the start of the summit, voiced exasperation with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has dismissed the latest aid-for-reform proposal from international creditors as “absurd”.
The G-7 leaders also discussed Islamist militant threats from groups such as Islamic State and Boko Haram. The leaders of Nigeria, Tunisia and Iraq joined them later as part of an “outreach” group of non-G7 countries.
G-7 leaders agreed to wean their economies off carbon fuels and supported a global goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they stopped short of agreeing their own immediate binding targets.
They also backed a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to two degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels.
The leaders also took a firm stance on Russia and its involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Merkel said the G-7 countries were ready, if necessary, to strengthen sanctions against Russia. The leaders want Russia and Ukraine to comply with a 12 February 2015 ceasefire agreed in the Belarus capital Minsk that largely halted fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.