Biden: G-7 Bans Russian Gold in Response to Ukraine War

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the United States and other leading economies of the Group of Seven will ban gold imports from Russia, the latest in a series of sanctions the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically over the invasion of Ukraine. .

ELMAU, Germany (AP) — President Joe Biden said Sunday that the United States and other leading economies of the Group of Seven will ban imports of gold from Russia, the latest in a series of sanctions the Club of Democracies hopes to further help Russia economically. isolate over his invasion of Ukraine.

A formal announcement was expected on Tuesday as the leaders hold their annual summit.

Biden and his colleagues will meet on the opening day of the summit on Sunday to discuss ways to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, with the aim of preventing the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from damaging the global coalition that Moscow tries to punish, splinters.

Hours before the summit was set to officially open, Russia launched rocket attacks on the Ukrainian capital on Sunday, hitting at least two residential buildings, Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko said. It was the first such strike by Russia in three weeks.

Senior officials in the Biden administration said gold is Moscow’s second-largest export after energy and that banning imports would make it more difficult for Russia to participate in global markets. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details before the announcement.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the ban on Russian gold “will hit Russian oligarchs directly and hit the heart of Putin’s war machine,” a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin is wasting his dwindling resources on this senseless and barbaric war. He finances his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people,” Johnson said. “We must starve the Putin regime of its funding.”

In recent years, gold has been Russia’s most important export after energy — reaching nearly $19 billion or about 5% of global gold exports by 2020, according to the White House.

90% of Russian gold exports went to the G-7 countries. Of these Russian exports, more than 90%, or nearly $17 billion, was exported to the UK. The United States imported less than $200 million worth of gold from Russia in 2019 and less than $1 million in 2020 and 2021.

Biden arrived in the picturesque Bavarian Alps early Sunday to attend the annual meeting of the world’s leading democratic economies with his colleagues. The reverberations of the brutal war in Ukraine will be at the center of their discussions. Biden and the allies aim to form a united front in support of Ukraine as the conflict enters its fourth month.

Unity was the message Biden took up in a pre-summit meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the rotating G-7 presidency and hosts the meeting.

“We have to make sure we all stick together. You know, we continue to work on the economic challenges we face, but I think we’ll get through all of this,” Biden said.

Scholz replied that the “good news” is that “we all made it to stay united, which Putin never expected,” a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We have to stick together, because Putin had expected from the start that NATO and the G7 would shatter somehow, but we haven’t and we won’t,” Biden said. “We can’t let this aggression take the form it has and get away with it.”

Biden and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, plus the European Union, spent Sunday in both formal and informal settings, including working sessions on dealing with the effects of the war on the global economy, including inflation, and on infrastructure.

Among the topics to be discussed are energy price caps, which are intended to limit Russian oil and gas profits that Moscow can use in its war effort. The idea was championed by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

A senior German official, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with department rules, said the US idea of ​​price caps was discussed intensively, in terms of how it would work and how it would fit in with the US, EU, UK, Canadian and Japanese sanctions regimes.

Officials would also discuss how to deliver on commitments to address climate change while solving critical energy needs arising from the war.

“There is no dilution of climate commitments,” John Kirby, a spokesman for Biden’s National Security Council, said on Saturday as the president flew to Germany.

Biden is also set on Sunday to formally launch a global infrastructure partnership designed to counter China’s influence in the developing world. He had called it “Build Back Better World” and introduced the program at the G-7 summit last year.

Kirby said Biden and other leaders would announce the first projects to take advantage of what the US sees as an “alternative to infrastructure models that sell debt traps to low- and middle-income partner countries, and promote US economic competitiveness and our national security.”

After the G-7 is concluded on Tuesday, Biden will travel to Madrid for a summit of leaders of NATO’s 30 members to align strategy for the war in Ukraine.

Superville message from Telfs, Austria. Associated Press writers Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.

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