G20 finance ministers and central bank governors met on the sidelines of a semi-annual conference held by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington.
Top officials from Britain, the United States and Canada walked out on Russia’s representatives at a Group of 20 meeting on Wednesday and many members spoke to condemn Moscow’s war in Ukraine, exposing deep divisions in the bloc of major economies.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who chaired the meeting of G20 finance officials in Washington, acknowledged the body faced unprecedented challenges but called for cooperation to overcome headwinds slowing global growth.
This is an extraordinary situation, Mr. Indrawati told reporters after the daylong meeting. “It’s not business as usual, a very dynamic and challenging one.”
The G20 includes Western countries that have accused Moscow of war crimes in Ukraine, as well as China, India, Indonesia and South Africa which have not joined Western-led sanctions against Russia over the conflict.
Mr. Indrawati said many countries spoke out against the war at the meeting, although she did not identify them.
In order for us to be able to recover together, we need more and even stronger cooperation, Mr. Indrawati told a briefing. The G20 is stil the premier forum for all of us to be able to discuss and talk about all the issues, he added.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told attendees she strongly disapproved of a senior Russian official’s presence at the meeting before she walked out, two sources told Reuters.
She was joined by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.
Ukrainian officials, in Washington seeking billions of dollars of additional funding, also walked out of the meeting, a source familiar with the meeting said.
No 'business as usual' in trade with Russia
One source added that Ms. Yellen told participants there could be “no business-as-usual” for Russia in the global economy, a view echoed by Mr. Indrawati, whose government is heading the G20 group this year.
British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said in a tweet: We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and will push for stronger international coordination to punish Russia.