U.S. to boycott some G-20 meetings should Russia attend: Yellen

Apr 07 , 2022. 19 minutes ago – 09:49 KYODO NEWS

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at a press conference in Venice, Italy, on July 11, 2021, after attending a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs and central bank governors. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

WASHINGTON – The United States is poised to boycott some meetings related to the Group of 20 major economies should Russian officials turn up, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday amid ongoing tensions with Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden has asserted that Russia should be removed from the G-20, which comprises major developed and developing economies.

“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,” Yellen told a congressional hearing.

“He’s asked that Russia be removed from the G-20 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,” she added. Indonesia is this year’s rotating chair of the group.

According to Reuters, a Treasury spokesperson later said Yellen was referring to an April 20 G-20 meeting of finance chiefs on the sidelines of the spring sessions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, and associated deputies’ meetings.

It is not clear whether Russia will join the gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors, which will be the first G-20 ministerial talks to be held since Russia began its military campaign against Ukraine on Feb. 24.

An annual G-20 summit is scheduled for November in Indonesia. Russia has said President Vladimir Putin intends to attend the leaders’ talks and Indonesia said last month that it has extended an invitation.

The G-20 groups Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

China and India were among the 35 countries that abstained from a vote on a U.N. General Assembly resolution in early March deploring Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine.

In an effort to isolate Russia, the Group of Seven industrialized nations, all of which are members of the G-20, have agreed that international organizations and multilateral fora should no longer conduct activities with Moscow “in a business as usual manner.”

Russia had been part of the group from the 1990s — then known as the Group of Eight — until it was dropped from the framework following an international outcry over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Cr. KYODO NEWS