The US, UK and Canada boycott Russia's participation in the G20

The US, UK and Canada boycott Russia’s participation in the G20

“Together with our allies, the United States and Canada, the UK representatives walked out of the G20 meeting while the Russian delegates spoke,” the spokesman said.

“We will continue to work with our allies to condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine in the strongest terms, and push for stronger international coordination to punish Russia.”

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told attendees she disapproved of the presence of a high-ranking Russian official at the meeting, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Yellen was one of those who left the meeting, along with Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, among others.

For her part, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde urged the Russian official, Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov, to send Moscow a clear message: end the war in Ukraine, one of the sources said.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 met in the context of the biannual conference that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank hold in Washington, and the main topics were the war in Ukraine, food security and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Maksimov participated in the meeting in person, according to a source. Russia’s finance minister and central bank governor participated virtually, according to other sources familiar with the meeting.

Earlier on Wednesday, Yellen told her counterpart from Indonesia, which holds the G20 presidency, that there would be “business as usual” for Russia in the world economy given its invasion of Ukraine, the US Treasury said.

US Treasury officials say Yellen will boycott some of the G20 sessions attended by Russian officials remotely, but will participate in the debate about the impact of the war in Ukraine on the world economy.

Financial leaders in several European countries were planning to follow suit in protest at the Russian invasion.

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, for example, was willing to “walk out and boycott any session where the Russians try to talk,” a Canadian government official said. Freeland was one of the people who dropped out on Wednesday.

Freeland, who is of Ukrainian descent and has made impassioned appeals on behalf of the country following the Russian invasion in February, “could also take the opportunity to directly refute the Russians if they speak on the floor.”

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