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G-7 Heightening Russia Sanctions for Ukraine War

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This kindergarten was damaged by Russian missile fired early Sunday, in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 27, 2022.

The United States and the other members of the Group of Seven leading industrialized economies imposed new sanctions Monday against Russia for its four-month invasion of Ukraine. These include measures to cut Moscow off from materials and services needed by its industrial and technology sectors.

The White House said the U.S. will commit $7.5 billion as part of a G-7 effort to help Ukraine cover its short-term budget needs, and that the governments are making "an unprecedented, long-term security commitment to providing Ukraine with financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support as long as it takes."

In a joint communique, the G-7 said, "We remain appalled by and continue to condemn the brutal, unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine by Russia and aided by Belarus. We condemn and will not recognize Russia's continued attempts to redraw borders by force."

G7 Leaders Closer to Price Cap on Russia Oil, More Aid to Ukraine
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The announcement came as G-7 leaders met in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, where they spoke by video link with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Additional specific U.S. sanctions include blocks on Russian state-owned defense enterprises and defense research organizations, limiting Russia's ability to replenish equipment it has lost in the war, and prohibitions on gold imports into the United States.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters the United States is finalizing a new military aid package for Ukraine that includes advanced air defense capabilities to help it shoot down incoming Russian missiles such as those deployed to target several Ukrainian cities over the weekend.

G-7 Summit to Address Global Threats
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In addition, he acknowledged the G-7 leaders are attempting to craft a cap on the price of oil Russia sells on the world market "to deny revenue to Russia while at the same time ensuring a stable global energy market." Whether India and other nations that buy Russian oil would go along with a price cap is uncertain.

Russian troops carried out shelling in the eastern city of Lysychansk on Monday, working to try to capture the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in Luhansk province after seizing control of neighboring Sievierodonetsk.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the damage to Lysychansk has been "catastrophic."

Haidai urged the remaining civilians to evacuate the city that was home to 100,000 people before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Russia now controls virtually all of Luhansk province, part of the eastern Donbas region that Moscow is trying to take over, one of its major war aims.

Russian forces on Sunday launched new missile attacks against Ukraine's two biggest cities, the capital of Kyiv and Kharkiv.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least two apartment buildings in the city were hit, leaving at least one person dead, and four others injured.

Russia ramped up its use of cruise missiles, striking targets across northwestern Ukraine. Air raid sirens blared in several cities.

"It's more of their barbarism," U.S. President Joe Biden said of the Russian strike on Kyiv.

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Russia on Monday rejected that it defaulted on international debt payments for the first time in a century.

Interest payments totaling $100 million on two bonds were originally due May 27 but carried a 30-day grace period.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia had made the payments in May, but that they were blocked by Western sanctions and thus were "not our problem."

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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