G7 Rejects British-led Call for new Syria Sanctions

The G7 has rejected British and American led calls for new sanctions on Russia and Syria.

Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Secretary, joined US commentators in calling for additional sanctions against the two regimes yesterday.

The diplomacy in the town of Lucca led to the G7 broading its consultations with regional powers, including Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, according to the Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.

The group did agree that there was no post-conflict role for Assad or his regime in the country. The US secretary of state will not fly to Russia to try to persuade the Russian government to stop supporting Assad’s government.

The meeting of the G7, most powerful governments in the world, follows a chemical weapons attack in Syria. Western countries have blamed Assad for this new war crime, while the Russians have claimed that a stray bomb hit a chemicals weapons depot- while providing no evidence.

US President Donald Trump ordered air strikes on the airbase used by the Assad regime to administer this chemical attack. The base is also used by the Russians.

Analysists say that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Russia, and US air strikes, are unlikely to lead to Putin’s government softening support for Assad.

Sanctions have had a crippling effect on the Russian economy over recent years, especially targeting Putin and his inner circle. There was some speculation during the US Presidential race last year that Donald Trump would remove sanctions on the regime.

New sanctions may not have been granted, but current sanctions remain.