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Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, via video link at the Bundestag in Berlin on March 17, 2022. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Liesa Koppitz-Johanssen.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, via video link at the Bundestag in Berlin on March 17, 2022. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Liesa Koppitz-Johanssen. (Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz)

Leaders from the Group of Seven countries will discuss potential new sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine on Sunday, according to people familiar with the plan.

The call will give the nations the opportunity to coordinate -- and potentially finalize -- any new measures, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the preparations are private. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to join the call.

The U.S. and its allies are pushing to conclude new sanctions ahead of Russia’s May 9 Victory Day military parade. The celebration, which commemorates the end of the Second World War, has become a touchstone of the Kremlin’s campaign to whip up public support for the invasion and will likely feature a speech by President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine.

The discussions come as the European Union is preparing a sixth package of sanctions that would phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year as well as ban European vessels and companies from providing services, such as insurance, needed to transport oil to third countries.

EU ambassadors were discussing the bloc’s measures on Friday, with Hungary holding back support as it demanded more time and money to drop imports of the Russian crude it relies on, according to people familiar with the situation. Negotiations are likely to drag into the weekend.

The U.S. is also discussing restrictions on consulting with Russian companies and imposing more export controls on chemicals, as well as mechanical engineering goods, the people said. The U.S. may also join the EU in banning its companies from providing oil-related insurance and services.

The other G-7 nations’ measures would likely follow some of the EU’s actions, but with respective differences as has been the case in earlier rounds of sanctions, one of the people said. The U.S. and the U.K. have already announced plans to restrict Russian oil imports.

The EU is also proposing to:

- Cut Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank off the SWIFT international payments system.

- Restrict Russian entities and individuals from purchasing property in the EU.

- Ban providing consulting services to Russian companies and trade in a number of chemicals.

- Sanction Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast who is “closely associated” with Vladimir Putin, according to an EU document; and Patriarch Kirill, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church and has been a vocal supporter of the Russian president and the war in Ukraine.

- Sanction dozens of military personnel, including those deemed responsible for reported war crimes in Bucha, as well as companies providing equipment, supplies and services to the Russian armed forces.

- Introduce new sanctions on Belarus, including measures on banks and its main potash companies.

The U.K. announced earlier this week that it was barring Russian individuals and companies from using British accountants, consultants and PR firms.

G-7 allies recently discussed various other options to limit Russia’s oil revenue, including price caps, tariffs and special payment mechanisms, as well as legal frameworks to strengthen measures to go after the assets of sanctioned tycoons and entities.


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