News Tech: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday that Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20 major economies forum, and the United States will boycott “a number of G20 meetings” if Russian officials show up. Her comments at a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing raised questions about the G20`s future role in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since 2008, the club has served as a key international forum for issues from COVID-19 relief to cross-border debt and also includes China, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries that have been reluctant to condemn Russia’s actions.
Yellen said that the Biden administration wants to push Russia out of active participation in major international institutions, but acknowledged that it was unlikely that Russia could be expelled from the International Monetary Fund given its rules. In response to a question, Yellen said, “President Biden has made it very clear that Russia cannot keep its financial institutions the way it used to, and I agree with him.” I have asked to be excluded, and I have made it clear to my Indonesian colleagues that I will not attend any meetings attended by Russia.”
Yellen told lawmakers that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the killings of civilians in Bucha “are reprehensible, represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond.” The United States and its key allies have placed greater emphasis in recent months on the G7 grouping of industrial democracies, whose interests are more aligned, using G7 meetings to coordinate their response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Indonesia will take office as president this year and will host a financial conference in July and a summit of heads of state and government in November. A Treasury Department spokesperson later said that President Yellen had met with G20 finance ministers on April 20, coinciding with his IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings and related parliamentary meetings in Washington. He said he was referring to a meeting of central bank governors.