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US will boycott G20 meetings if Russia is allowed to attend, treasury secretary says

Treasury secretary Janet Yellen says Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 07 April 2022 14:36 BST
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File: The US has said it would boycott G20 meetings if Russian president Vladimir Putin was invited
File: The US has said it would boycott G20 meetings if Russian president Vladimir Putin was invited (PA Archive)

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20 (G20) and added that the US will boycott “a number of G20 meetings” if Russian officials show up.

Ms Yellen raised questions about Russia’s future in the G20 at a US House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.

The remarks come in the wake of the country’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and after it emerged that possible war crimes were committed in Bucha, a suburb near capital Kyiv.

The treasury secretary said Russia’s invasion and killings in Bucha “are reprehensible, represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond.”

“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,” she said.

“He’s asked that Russia be removed from the G20, 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 holds the G20 presidency this year and will host a finance meeting in July this year and a leaders summit in Bali in November. Russia said Vladimir Putin intends to attend the summit later this year.

Russia was kicked out of the then Group of Eight after its annexation of Crimea in 2014. But kicking it out of the G20, experts said, is going to be more complicated as it requires consensus to enact. China and India might not agree to expelling Russia from the grouping.

Indonesia, per se, cannot disinvite or expel any G20 members, an official familiar with the matters was quoted as saying by Reuters. Whether members want to attend or not was entirely up to them.

The South China Morning Post reported that a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council on Tuesday said the White House had discussed the situation with Indonesia and other G20 countries and that it would look closer at whether or not to participate as the summit nears.

Meanwhile, Indonesia said earlier in March that it intended to remain “impartial”. An Indonesian official had then said that the Russian president had received the invite to the summit but had not yet made up his mind.

“Indonesia prepares the best as G20 presidency while monitoring closely and actively seeking solutions on Ukraine,” said Mahendra Siregar, the country’s vice foreign minister.

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