U.S. will not attend G20 finance chiefs' meeting if Russia participates, Yellen says

Janet Yellen.
(Image credit: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Speaking with the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. would be declining to participate in "a number of" G20 meetings this year if "the Russians are there," Bloomberg reports. A spokesperson later clarified that Yellen was referring to a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors set for April 20 in Washington.

"President Biden's made clear, and I certainly agree with him, that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in any of the financial institutions," Yellen said Wednesday. "He's asked that Russia be removed from the G20 and I've made clear to my colleagues in Indonesia that we will not be participating in a number of meetings if the Russians are there."

The full G20 leaders' summit will be held in Indonesia in November. In March, President Biden suggested removing Russia from the group but only if other members agreed.

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Yellen also used her annual testimony before the committee to discuss what she called the "enormous economic repercussions" of Russia's war in Ukraine, CNN reports.

"Globally, spillovers from the crisis are heightening economic vulnerabilities in many countries that are already facing higher debt burdens and limited policy options as they recover from COVID-19," Yellen said. The invasion has "disrupted the flow of food for millions of people around the world and caused prices to spike," she added.

Russan and Ukraine are large exporters of wheat, while Russia is the biggest crude oil exporter in the world, per CNN.

"We are witnessing the vulnerability that comes from relying on one fuel source or one trade partner," Yellen said.

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