TOKYO – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says Japan will gradually phase out Russian oil imports in unison with the Group of Seven’s efforts against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Leaders of the G-7 countries met online on Sunday and announced their commitment to ban or phase out Russian oil imports in a bid to pressure Moscow to end its aggression against Ukraine.
“It’s an extremely difficult decision for a country that relies mostly on energy imports, including oil,” Kishida told reporters on Monday. “But G-7 unity is what matters most right now.”
Kishida said it will be a gradual and slow process of phasing out Russian oil imports and that the details and timing will be decided later as the process requires securing alternative energy sources.
About 4% of Japanese oil imports come from Russia. Japan has also announced that it will stop importing coal from Russia.
Japan will not ban imports from its own interests in oil and natural gas projects in Russia, including those in Sakhalin, Kishida said.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— More than 60 feared killed in bomb attack on Ukrainian school
— “Everything shook”: the last civilians left the Ukrainian steelworks
– G-7 leaders vow to ban or reduce Russian oil imports
– Jill Biden pays surprise visit to Ukraine and meets First Lady
Follow all AP reports on Russia’s war against Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations chief says he is “appalled” by the reported attack on a school in the Ukrainian town of Bilohorivka, where many people appeared to be taking shelter from fighting.
A UN spokesman said on Sunday that Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterated that civilians and civilian infrastructure must be spared under international law.
Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said: “This war must be ended and peace made in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Ukraine will continue to support those whose lives have been devastated by war.”
ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — More than 170 people have been evacuated from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol after weeks of Russian shelling and fighting as Russia attempted to take over the port city.
That’s according to a Sunday statement by Osnat Lubrani, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine.
The evacuees were taken to Zaporizhia, a city in south-eastern Ukraine. According to Lubrani, more than 600 people have now been evacuated from the Mariupol area.
The latest evacuation was the latest attempt to rescue people from tunnels under the Azovstal steel mine, where Ukrainian militants are trying to hold off Russian attackers.
The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are coordinating the evacuations.
Kyiv, Ukraine — U2 frontman Bono appeared at a Kiev metro station used as an air raid shelter on Sunday and showed his support for Ukrainians trying to repel the Russian invasion.
The Irish singer tweeted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and that’s why we came.”
Bono, along with guitarist The Edge, sang the Ben E. King song “Stand By Me” at the Khreschatyk metro station. He was accompanied by another singer in Ukrainian military uniforms.
He also visited Bucha, a town outside of Kyiv where hundreds of bodies were found after Russian troops withdrew last month. The city is considered a possible war crimes scene.
Kyiv, Ukraine — Leaders of the Group of Seven developed democracies on Sunday pledged to phase out or ban imports of Russian oil as they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for online talks Sunday to stress their support and unity among them to rally the Western allies to victory on Europe Day marking Nazi Germany’s surrender in 1945.
The disruption to Russia’s oil supply “will hit the main artery of (President Vladimir) Putin’s economy and deny him the revenues he needs to fund his war,” according to the G-7, which includes the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Italy and Japan said in a statement.
“We will ensure we do so in a timely and orderly manner, and in a manner that gives the world time to secure alternative supplies,” they added.
Looking back on World War II, leaders stressed unity in their determination that Putin must not win.
“We owe it to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in World War II to continue fighting for them today, for the people of Ukraine, for Europe and for the world community,” they said.
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