WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to skip some sessions of this week’s G20 finance meeting in protest at Russia’s assault on Ukraine and will urge International Monetary Fund and World Bank members to increase pressure on Moscow, two senior U.S. Treasury officials said on Monday.
The Treasury Department will concentrate on cracking down on those seeking to evade sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia over the war, and those who facilitate such efforts, one of the officials said.
Yellen’s decision to avoid some sessions joined by Russian officials underscores the U.S. view that Russia should be excluded from global financial institutions because of its invasion, the official said.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov may attend at least portions of the G20 meeting virtually, the official said, repeating Yellen’s recent comments that it can no longer be “business as usual” for Russia in the G20 and other international institutions.
Yellen will attend the opening G20 finance session on the economic impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, including the IMF’s forecast of a 35% contraction in Ukraine’s economic output this year. Even if Russian officials attend that session, the official said it was important for Yellen to participate in and stand with American allies in support of Ukraine.
Washington and its allies will further pursue consultations on sanctions imposed on Russia, including a focus on thwarting evasion of sanctions previously imposed, one official said.
The official declined to discuss specific next steps, but added that additional sanctions, including measures targeting Russian industries, would seek to further restrict Russia’s economy and ability to project power.
Yellen will convene a high-level panel on Tuesday to discuss the global response to a food security crisis exacerbated by Russia’s invasion, the Treasury Department said.
Moscow calls the assault on Ukraine a “special military operation.”
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Howard Goller)