Biden wants to exclude Russia from G20 in major power move – ‘Cannot be business as usual

Alastair Stewart discusses Joe Biden’s Putin comments

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In March, the US President commented in a press conference in Brussels on Russia’s involvement with the G20 and expressed his preference that the country was removed from the group. After expressing his view he added: “I raised the possibility if that can’t be done, if Indonesia and others do not agree, then we should, in my view, ask to have both Ukraine be able to attend the meetings, as well as, well basically Ukraine being able to attend the G20 meeting to observe.”

Janet Yellen has warned that Russia’s aggression and violence in Ukraine will have “enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond”.

Ms Yellen spoke at the US House Financial Service Committee hearing on Wednesday and questioned the future of the Group of 20 major economies forum, which has been the leading economic and policy forum since the 2008 financial crash.

During her address, Ms Yellen said: “President Biden’s made it clear, and I certainly agree with him, that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in any of the financial institutions.

“He’s asked that Russia be removed from the G20, and I’ve made clear to my colleagues in Indonesia that we will not be participating in a number of meetings if the Russians are there.”

A meeting with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors is set to happen in Washington later this month both in person and virtually alongside meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Ms Yellen warned her colleagues in Indonesia of Biden’s participation as the country is set to hold the G20 presidency and host a finance meeting in July and a leader’s summit in November.

Ms Yellen’s warnings come after the United States announced new sanctions on Russia, including on Vladimir Putin’s two daughters, after alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

She told the committee that Russia’s invasion “including the atrocities committed against innocent Ukrainians in Bucha, are reprehensible, represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions for the world”.

She added: “Today we are taking additional steps to cut off Russia from international markets in response to Putin’s continued brutality.

“This serious action, including fully blocking Russia’s largest bank and banning new investment in Russia, will further restrict Putin’s ability to fund and supply his war.”

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Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the US and Western allies have imposed staggered sanctions on Russia.

Most recently these have focused on finding and closing the loopholes which emerged from their previous sanctions.

Ms Yellen said: “The Treasury is committed to holding Russia accountable for its actions so it cannot benefit from the international financial system.”

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