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G7 will seek to seize assets of key Russian elites -Yellen -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


Chris Gallagher, Christian Kraemer

BERLIN/WASHINGTON, (Reuters) –The Group of Seven main economies will form a task force that will focus on seizing and freezing assets of Russian elites in an effort to increase pressure on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary, said Tuesday.

The “foreign President Vladimir Putin will suffer financial distress” statement was made by Yellen after a G7 virtual meeting of chief finance officers.

She stated that G7 would continue to back the expulsion of Russian financial institutions SWIFT’s banking system. Furthermore, they expect that any sanctions that have been imposed thus far “will hinder the Russian government from funding its invasion.”

Russia describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operations.”

Russia’s economy was immediately affected by sanctions. Queues formed outside banks, as Russians scramble to get their savings back. Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:] Plc) was the latest major Western company to leave the country on Tuesday.

These measures restrict Moscow from using a $640billion war chest to protect its currency. However, it is still to be seen if Russia will find alternative channels of trade or financing for its economy.

Chinese companies and banks look for ways to minimize the effects of sanctions on Russia relations. Transactions settled in yuan are seen increasing at the expense dollar.

Christian Lindner from Germany, the finance minister, stated earlier Tuesday that the G7 was expecting an agreement on any further sanctions in the days ahead, but he didn’t give details as to what steps were being considered.

After the meeting, Lindner stated to reporters that “We want Russia financially and politically isolated.”

He said that they had exchanged information about the application of current sanctions, and also discussed possible additional measures. “And we will reach an agreement in the next days.”

Lindner claimed that measures curbing Russian central banks’ activities and exclusion of Russian banks of SWIFT’s inter-bank messaging network had exceeded all expectations.

He said that the rouble was in free fall as the Russian currency fell to 112 against the dollar during Tuesday’s trade.

Shunichi Suzuki (Japan Finance Minister) stated that G7 countries had stressed the importance of tight coordination during their measures against Moscow. SergiiMarchenko, Ukraine’s finance ministry, was also present.

France’s Bruno Le Maire launched an economic and financial “all-out war” on Russia, declaring it the enemy. Then he reacted to a remark he had made about inappropriate language.

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