07:58 GMT14 April 2021
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    Protesters gathered at Garmisch-Partenkirchen to stand up against NATO expansion, a member of an anti-G7 network told Sputnik Sunday.

    GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — Hundreds of protesters gathered at Garmisch-Partenkirchen resort town, just a few miles away from the Group of Seven (G7) summit's venue, Bavaria’s Schloss Elmau hotel, to protest against NATO expansion through Ukraine, a member of an anti-G7 network told Sputnik Sunday.

    "NATO wants to expand through Ukraine, it has changed the political system in Kiev that will act in the interest of the European Union and NATO bloc," Gustavo Wagner said, commenting on the US President Barack Obama's arrival to the summit. 

    The activist also stressed that ordinary people want transparency in global politics when it comes to such important matters as the US National Security Agency's (NSA) espionage in Europe.

    German Bundestag has requested from the government a full list of European targets that were spied on at the request of the NSA. The list was due to be published prior to the G7 summit.

    Protesters are struggling to approach the Schloss Elmau hotel in Germany’s Bavaria, where the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) gathered for the 41st summit, a spokesperson for the Stop G7 Elmau movement told Sputnik Sunday.

    "Because of military and police repression, because of the prohibitions of the demonstrations and also because of the weather conditions – all this do not allow [us] to approach Elmau," Simon Ernst said.

    On the eve of the event, the Stop G7 activist network held mass protests against the G7 policies, NATO military expansion in Europe, the bloc's involvement in the Ukrainian crisis and the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal.

    Hundreds of protesters from across the world, including such remote countries as Honduras and Australia, set up a camp in the town despite tightened security, Wagner said. Thousands are still arriving to the area by cars, trains and by foot from the surrounding areas, he added.

    Several people suffered injuries after police used a chemical substance on up to 400 people protesting against the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Germany's Bavaria, a spokesperson for the Stop G7 movement told Sputnik.

    "Yesterday they used a chemical substance on 400 people. Their eyes were hurting and they had difficulty with breathing, some people had skin reaction to the substance," Simon Ernst said.

    He added that the Stop G7 movement staged a peaceful rally but were "attacked" by police four times.

    "Several protesters suffered injuries due to the use of this substance. May be it was tear gas or something similar," Ernst said.

    Over 7,000 people participated in the protests at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Saturday, local police told Sputnik Sunday.

    The German authorities have been boosting security in Bavaria ahead of the summit. Last week, German Interior Ministry reintroduced border controls with Austria and the Czech Republic, and set up a high fence around the summit venue.

    As the G7 leaders began to arrive from Munich, protesters attempted to block the highway on which countries' leaders are due to arrive.

    The G7 group comprises the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States.


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