As Biden meets with world leaders at G-7 Summit, US puts new sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON — The U.S. announced a new sanctions package to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine on Thursday, as President Joe Biden attended a summit of the leaders of the world's most powerful advanced economies.

A senior U.S. official said the U.S. and its partners would seek to make it harder for Russia to evade sanctions, access the international financial system and continue waging its war. Group of Seven nations will also take steps to further reduce their reliance on Russia energy sources, the official said.

Biden's administration said it would blacklist 70 entities from receiving U.S. exports and introduce more than 300 new sanctions on individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft that the official said would target financial facilitators and other actors in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Additional details of the sanctions package were not immediately available. However, the senior Biden administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the package would be "substantial" and demonstrates the U.S. remains committed to "tightening the screws" on Russia for its continued aggression against Ukraine.

President Joe Biden greets troops upon his arrival at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Iwakuni, Japan, Thursday, May 18, 2023. Biden made the stop on his way to attend the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

The latest:

  • Where's Biden: President Joe Biden arrived in Hiroshima, Japan early Thursday morning on a shortened trip abroad to meet with U.S. allies, including the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the U.K.
  • Why the G-7 is meeting: The economic alliance that booted Russia nearly a decade ago over its annexation of Crimea holds an annual leaders' summit in a participating nation.
  • What's on the schedule: Biden and other leaders will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which honors individuals who lost their lives as a result of the U.S. bombing of the Japanese city during World War II.
  • Why it matters: Although former President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the memorial in 2016 during a bilateral visit, it is the first time that world leaders are gathering together at the memorial since the war's conclusion. The joint appearance is meant to show the resolve of the G-7 alliance to preventing nuclear proliferation and another global war.
  • No apology: Biden will not make a statement at the memorial, his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters traveling with the president on Air Force One. He will lay a wreath and pay his respects for history and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represented Hiroshima in his country's House of Representatives.
People stand along a road to see the motorcade transporting US President Joe Biden in Hiroshima on May 18, 2023, ahead of the G7 Leaders' Summit.

Biden shortens overseas trip as debt ceiling talks in limbo

Biden will split his attention during the trip between global politics and a fight with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling that is simmering in the U.S. with just days to go before a possible default on America's debt.

He canceled stops in Papua New Guinea and Australia, where he had planned to showcase his strategy to counter China, in order to return to the negotiating table sooner. The White House insisted Thursday that Biden was postponing, and not canceling, his visit to the nations, although new dates have not been announced. He will meet with the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit.

"He looked at what needed to be done, and the president wanted to come back...a little bit early, postpone those two other stops that he was going to make to make sure that Congress actually did its job," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One.

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