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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen walked out of a G20 meeting as Russia’s finance minister spoke.

todayApril 20, 2022

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Several finance ministers and central bankers including Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Ukraine’s finance minister, Serhiy Marchenko, abruptly left a Group of 20 meeting in protest on Wednesday when Russia’s finance minister, Anton Siluanov, started to speak, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

The walkout was a stark demonstration of Russia’s isolation on the global stage and came as the United States and its allies spend the opening days of spring meetings held by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund grappling with how to contain the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Top economic officials from around the world have gathered in Washington and virtually to discuss ways to maintain economic pressure on Russia without further upending the global economy.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Siluanov and Russian officials were participating virtually. Some finance ministers and central bank governors who were also participating virtually turned off their cameras when Mr. Siluanov spoke, the person familiar with the meeting said.

President Biden has asked for Russia to be removed from the Group of 20. The Treasury Department said this week that Ms. Yellen would make clear this week that it should not be business as usual for Russia in the global economy, and that the Treasury secretary would not be participating in some meetings when Russia is present.

The United States and its allies in Europe and Asia have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia, battering its economy but also slowing growth around the world.

The Biden administration has called for Russia to be shunned from international gatherings and excluded from financial institutions, but there is not currently sufficient international backing to expel them from the Group of 20.

Among those who also walked out of the meeting were, Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England and Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance.

Ms. Freeland said on Twitter that, “The world’s democracies will not stand idly by in the face of continued Russian aggression and war crimes.”

Ms. Yellen will meet on Thursday with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal of Ukraine and Mr. Marchenko.

A Treasury Department spokeswoman said that she would underscore America’s resolve to hold Russia accountable for the war and to provide Ukraine the aid that it needs.

Original story from https://www.nytimes.com

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todayApril 20, 2022


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