UK, US, Canada and Japan ban imports of Russian gold

Russia is one of the world’s biggest gold producers, and the metal is its second most valuable export after energy products

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, June 26, 2022, 03:44 PM IST
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The UK, US, Canada and Japan will ban imports of Russian gold in an effort to cripple the Kremlin's ability to fund the war in Ukraine.

The other leaders of the G-7 nations are also expected announce a ban on Russian gold imports for Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed on Sunday morning.

As the leaders met in Munich, Germany, for the latest G-7 summit, Biden took to Twitter to confirm earlier reports of an imminent ban.

“The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine,” he said early Sunday.

“Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: "We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that."

Move to isolate Russia financially

A senior administration official told reporters that the move would be formally announced on Tuesday, and that it would help to further isolate Russia from the international financial system. It is the latest in a series of economic sanctions imposed by Ukraine’s allies, including a crackdown on oil exports, Russia’s largest source of export revenue.

In recent years, gold has been the top Russian export after energy — reaching almost $19 billion or about 5% of global gold exports, in 2020, according to the White House.

Of Russian gold exports, 90% was consigned to G-7 countries. Of these Russian exports, over 90%, or nearly $17 billion, was exported to the UK. The United States imported less than $200 million in gold from Russia in 2019, and under $1 million in 2020 and 2021.

G7 Summit begins in Germany

Biden arrived in Germany’s picturesque Bavarian alps early Sunday to join his counterparts for the annual meeting of the world’s leading democratic economies. Reverberations from the brutal war in Ukraine will be front and center of their discussions. Biden and the allies aim to present a united front in support of Ukraine as the conflict enters its fourth month.

Unity was the message Biden took into a pre-summit sit-down with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the G-7′s rotating presidency and is hosting the gathering.

“We’ve got to make sure we have us all staying together. You know, we’re gonna continue working on economic challenges that we face but I think we get through all this,” Biden said.

Scholz replied that the “good message” is that “we all made it to stay united, which Putin never expected,” a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We have to stay together, because Putin has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to,” Biden said. “We can’t let this aggression take the form it has and get away with it.”

Discussions at the G7 summit in Bavaria are expected to focus on the international response to the war in Ukraine, as well as soaring prices and the global food crisis.

(with agency inputs)

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