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Biden says Putin’s hopes dashed

The G7 did not “splinter” as the Russian president expected, his US counterpart has said

“We have to stay together” in the face of the conflict in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden insisted as he arrived at the G7 Summit in the German Alps on Sunday.

Putin had been hoping “that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter,” Biden said. “But we haven’t and we’re not going to.”

The US president met with the host of this year’s gathering, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, at the picturesque Elmau Castle in the Bavarian mountains ahead of the official kickoff of the event. The leaders of the G7 nations – the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US – have come together at the summit to discuss the Ukraine crisis and other pressing issues for the next three days.

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Biden also thanked Scholz for his leadership amid Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, and the fallout of the sanctions imposed by the US and EU on Moscow.

“I want to compliment you for stepping up as you did when you became chancellor,” and “the way you had a great impact on the rest of Europe to move, particularly relating to Ukraine,” he told the German leader, whose country is going through an energy crisis as a result of its own measures against Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the G7 on Friday, reiterating that the current economic turmoil around the globe has little to do with the conflict in Ukraine.

“I want to stress once more: The sharp increase in inflation didn’t happen yesterday – it was a result of several years, it was a result of many years of irresponsible macroeconomic policies of the countries from the Group of Seven, uncontrolled emission and accumulation of unsecured debts,” Putin said.

READ MORE: US policies led to ‘new G8’ – Moscow

The G7 was known as the G8 from 1997 to 2014, when Moscow was excluded from the organization due to Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

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