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U.S., UK, Canadian Officials Walk Out On Russia At G20 Meeting

Top finance officials from Britain, the United States and Canada walked out of Wednesday’s G20 meeting as Russian representatives spoke, UK finance minister Rishi Sunak said.

The boycott exposed deepening divisions over Russia’s continued presence in the body. read more

Ukrainian officials in attendance also walked out of the meeting of top finance officials from the world’s 20 largest economies, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

“Earlier my representatives, along with US & Canadian counterparts left today’s G20 meeting in Washington as Russian delegates spoke,” Sunak said on Twitter.

“We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and will push for stronger international coordination to punish Russia.”

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov attended the meeting in person, while Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Russia’s central bank governor joined virtually, a second source said.

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Russia’s finance ministry did not mention the walkout in a statement issued after the meeting.

It cited Siluanov as calling on the G20 not to politicize dialogue between members and stressing the grouping had always focused on the economy.

He also complained about the damaging effect of Western sanctions, the statement said.

“Another aspect of the current crisis is the undermining of confidence in the existing international monetary and financial system,” it said.

“The safety of international reserves and the possibility of free trade and financial transactions are no longer guaranteed.”

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Russia was to blame for the slowdown in global growth, high inflation and supply chain problems.

“Russia must be isolated,” he told reporters.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told attendees she strongly disapproved of a senior Russian official’s presence at the meeting, two of the sources told Reuters.

One source added that Yellen told participants  at the G20 meeting that there could be “no business-as-usual” for Russia in the global economy, echoing her message to Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, whose government is heading the G20 group this year.

Yellen was joined in her walkout by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is of Ukrainian descent..

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, meanwhile, urged Maksimov to convey to Moscow a clear message – to end the war in Ukraine, one of the sources said.

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