Yellen to urge increased economic measures on Moscow at G-20 meet

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This week U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will call on her counterparts to up economic pressure inflicted on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine and may boycott G-20 sessions attended by Moscow, a top Treasury official announced Monday

Yellen will participate in the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, as well as gatherings of finance officials from the G-7 and G-20 nations, where the fallout from the war will be a key topic of discussion.

“The secretary believes the Russian invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the need for the world’s largest economies to stand together to defend international order and protect peace and prosperity,” the official told reporters.

“She will use this week’s meetings to work with allies to continue our united efforts to increase economic pressure on Russia while mitigating spillover effects.”

The IMF and World Bank have warned of the devastating costs the war is imposing on the global economy, especially through rising prices for energy and food at a time of high inflation.

Western sanctions on Moscow have contributed to inflation pressures, hitting the poorest countries the hardest.

While Yellen is “deeply concerned” about the impacts, “We are firm in our resolve to hold Russia and its leadership accountable, and have imposed crippling sanctions,” the official said.

Washington also will continue to work to penalize countries that try to evade the sanctions, and restrict Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s ability to project power.

The official did not provide any specifics on the type of sanctions or the targets.

While Yellen will participate in key meetings this week, especially the opening session of the G-20 focused on the fallout from the Russian invasion, she will not attend other sessions if officials from Moscow are included, a senior U.S. Treasury official said.

Russian finance officials are expected to participate remotely in the G-20 meeting on Wednesday, which is officially hosted by Indonesia.

Other officials from the world’s leading economies may boycott the sessions as well, a French source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) last week.

U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed ejecting Russia from the G-20.

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