WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday that she was committed to working through the Group of 20 major economies to address difficulties brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite a walkout by her and several other Western officials from a G20 finance meeting as Russian officials spoke.
“I think we were looking for a way to make our disapproval known while still recognizing we have a lot of work to accomplish,” Yellen told a news conference.
Yellen said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “so violates international norms” that the United States and its allies are not going to allow Russia to participate in international institutions, nor listen to its officials’ speeches.
Another walkout occurred on Thursday at the International Monetary Fund’s steering committee meeting, by British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, people familiar with the action said.
“It simply cannot be business as usual for Russia in terms of its participation in our global forums, whether it’s the G20 or other forums where we need to address common challenges,” Yellen said.
She said that a key piece of the G20’s work is to discuss the impact of Russia’s “horrible war of choice” in Ukraine, including rising energy prices, food insecurity and other effects.
“We’re continuing to get that work done,” she said.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)