Joe Biden says the West is banning imports of Russian gold to tighten the screws on Putin
- Joe Biden said the G7 nations will announce a ban on the import of Russian gold.
- The UK said it was banning the import of Russian gold, worth $15.5 billion a year to Moscow.
Joe Biden said the G7 nations would impose a ban on gold imports from Russia, choking off a key source of cash for Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs.
The US President, who is attending a G7 summit in Germany this weekend, tweeted: "The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine.
"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."
—President Biden (@POTUS) June 26, 2022
On Sunday the UK Government also announced a ban on the import of Russian gold, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak said would affect trade worth billions of dollars.
The UK Government said gold exports, which were worth $15.5 billion to the Russian economy in 2021, had become valuable to Russian elite in recent months with oligarchs rushing to buy gold bullion in an attempt to avoid the financial impact of western sanctions.
"The measures we have announced today will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin's war machine," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
"Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war. He is bankrolling his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people."
It is the latest assault on Russian assets in an attempt to destabilize the country amid Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The US banned Russian energy imports in March, while more dependent European countries have pledged to wean themselves off their Russian supply chains.
The sanctions are the latest attempt to hurt Putin's inner circle of oligarchs, following several individual sanctions and a ban from the SWIFT international payments system.
The ban on gold from the G7, which is comprised of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK, will be announced on Tuesday, an official told Reuters.
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