Biden: G-7 to ban Russian gold imports to put pressure on Putin over Ukraine

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TELFS, Austria – President Biden and several of his colleagues in the seven-nation bloc announced on Sunday that Russia would ban new imports of gold – and appeared to be moving towards a consensus on the price ceiling on Russian gas.Further isolate the country from the financial markets and punish President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine.

The embargo on gold imports, which could result in fines in the tens of billions of dollars, appeared to be the primary new economic barrier aimed at exiting Russia from the summit. Executive officials declined to comment on whether other punitive measures would be taken.

“The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue needed to finance his war against Ukraine,” Biden said. Has tweeted that On Sunday morning, he noted that gold was “a major export to Russia, earning billions of dollars.”

Biden and other leaders of the industrialized nations began their meetings Debates over the fall caused by the war in Ukraine in southern Germany on Sunday are set for a dominant summit.

Arriving late Saturday night, Biden attended a Mass with a clergyman from the U.S. military before beginning his day with a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Schaals to discuss the war.

The two leaders talked a little because Biden, who was photographed by the Alps, teased that he would ski a lot, but had not done so for some time. “It’s beautiful,” he noted.

The conversation then escalated, with Biden thanking Schlz for his determination and ability to keep the alliance united. “It simply came to our notice then. Because from the beginning, Putin thought that NATO and the G-7 system would somehow split, ”Biden said. “But we do not, we will not go.”

In the afternoon, the leaders of the summit announced a new global infrastructure investment plan aimed at raising $ 600 billion in public and private investment by 2027. The spending target – with a US $ 200 billion pledge – will move towards health, communications and improvement. Energy infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries. China, which has invested heavily in Africa and Asia through its Belt and Road initiative, aims to help meet ambitious costs around the world.

“Our countries and our world stand at a real point of penetration in history,” Biden said.

Some of the initial projects highlighted by Biden executives include the $ 2 billion plan to build a solar panel project in southern Angola; Development of telecommunications cables connecting Singapore to France via the Horn of Egypt and Africa, expanding high-speed Internet access; And creates a large multi-vaccine production facility in Senegal.

The day also includes references to disagreements between some top leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In a statement, Downing Street said Johnson “pressed” Macron “Any attempt to resolve [Ukraine] The conflict will now only lead to lasting instability and allow Putin to permanently manipulate both sovereign nations and international markets.

The comments came as criticism of Macron’s remarks in mid-June that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky and his officials sometimes need to negotiate with Russia. Before Macron, Scholz and other European leaders left for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, those comments raised concerns among Ukrainian officials that France and Germany could push for talks with Russia as the war escalates.

In the first 100 days of the war, Russia reportedly earned nearly $ 100B from fuel exports

French officials have dismissed those concerns, making it clear that it is up to Ukraine to decide when the time for talks will come. A spokesman for the French president said on Sunday that Macron and Johnson “had a discussion about Ukraine in which the president reaffirmed his commitment to support Ukraine.”

France has provided or pledged to Ukraine nearly a quarter of its existing Caesar artillery systems, and the country’s low reliance on Russian fossil fuels has allowed France to become the early champion of the EU embargo on Russian oil.

But both Macron and Scholes spoke to Putin repeatedly on the phone after the invasion, which provoked particular criticism in Eastern Europe.

The United States has been pushing for a price cap deal on Russia’s oil imports, which could affect Moscow’s ability to finance the war. G-7 leaders are moving towards a consensus on the price range, with someone familiar with Sunday’s talks speaking anonymously to discuss private talks.

The aim is to simultaneously limit the amount that countries pay for Russian oil, in the hope that it will affect Moscow’s ability to finance the war in an effort to reduce inflation at the fuel pump. Rising oil prices have bitten off some of the efforts of countries different from Russian power, as Moscow is getting lower wages.

To encourage other countries to participate, the leaders discussed ways to make it harder to insure or ship Russian oil that does not conform to the price range.

During Sunday’s meeting, Macron stressed that the price cap should include gas. It is considered easy to implement price caps on Russian natural gas flowing into pipelines to Europe because the infrastructure can not sell it anywhere else.

Scholz warns that the oil price limit will only be effective if all buyers are on board. “The questions to be resolved are not trivial questions,” said a German official. “But we’re on our way to finding a deal.”

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has raised concerns about the possible political implications of rising prices. “The energy crisis should not re-create populism,” he said, with details of the debate, according to the individual.

“Putting a cap on the price of fossil fuels imported from Russia has a geopolitical and economic and social purpose,” Draghi said. “We have to reduce the amount of money we give to Russia. We need to eliminate one of the main causes of inflation.

Biden seeks to dramatically increase aid to Ukraine

During a background conference with reporters ahead of the summit, the move by executive officials to ban gold imports was an important demonstration of the world’s largest economies ready to punish Russia, one of the world’s largest gold exporters. The official announcement will come Tuesday, according to executives, and the U.S. Treasury Department will take a formal decision to ban new gold imports.

“The United States has mobilized the world to impose rapid and significant economic costs, denying Putin the revenue needed to fund his war,” one of the officials said, referring to the anonymity of the basic rules for the conference.

The official pointed out that further steps could be taken to further isolate Russia, but suggested that they do not come immediately as part of the summit, but in the coming weeks.

“This is a major alternative to Russia in terms of a major export, a major source of revenue, and the ability to transact in the World Financial Organization,” the official said. “This move cuts off that capability, and is a continuing example of the G-7 collective action that will continue to isolate Russia and disconnect it from the world economy.”

The official said one of the aims of the United States and its international partners was to prevent Russia from finding a way around previous sanctions and avoiding a embargo on imports. Officials say their move to ban gold imports is a sign that Russia has been cut off from other avenues to access global financial markets.

For example, Russian oligarchy is seeking to buy gold as a way to avoid the financial impact of Western sanctions, and G-7 leaders believe it will send another signal to Putin’s top allies.

“The measures we have announced today will directly attack Russian oligarchy and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine,” Johnson said as part of his own announcement on the ban on gold imports.

“We have to starve the Putin administration,” he said. “England and our allies are doing it.”

Ashley Parker of Delphi and Annabelle Timchid of London contributed to the report.

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