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US, UK and Canada walk out of G20 meeting during Russian minister’s speech

US, UK and Canada walk out of G20 meeting during Russian minister’s speech

Posted April. 22, 2022 07:39,   

Updated April. 22, 2022 07:39


The finance ministers of key countries trying to remove Russia from international organizations for its invasion of Ukraine, including the U.S., walked out of a G20 meeting of finance ministers and governors of central banks held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday in protest against Russia. Those who walked out include major financial figures in the world, such as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, and Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey. Deputy Prime Minister and Ca9nada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland who has Ukrainian heritage also joined. Meanwhile, South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki and the finance ministers of Japan, Germany, etc. did not.

Secretary Yellen and Chair Powell who attended the meeting in person left the meeting hall as soon as Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov began a speech on video conference. Ukrainian Minister of Finance Serhiy Marchenko who was attending the meeting on a special invitation also left his seat. Finance leaders of some countries who were attending via video conference joined the protest by temporarily turning off their cameras.’

U.S. Secretary Yellen met with the delegation of Indonesia, the chair country of G20, and condemned Russia’s brutal invasion, adding that Russia will not receive the same treatment as before in the international community. She is repeatedly insisting that Russia should be boycotted in a G20 meeting to be held in Bali in November. She also met with Ukrainian Minister Marchenko on Thursday to discuss measures to support Ukraine.

“We support her steps, and it’s an indication of the fact that President Putin and Russia has become a pariah on the global stage,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. Criticism against Russia also poured in outside the meeting hall. Canadian Minister Freeland criticized Russian bureaucrats on the sidelines that they are complicit in war crimes, according to Politico.

However, South Korean Minister Hong did not exit the room even though he had finished his speech before Russian Minister Siluanov’s. The finance minister of three countries out of G7 – Germany, Japan, and Italy – kept their seats. G20’s joint statement condemning Russia was also not accepted. Minister Siluanov urged not to politicize G20, an economic institution.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com