World Leaders Now Going After Russia's 2nd-Largest Export

G-7 nations will ban gold shipments
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 26, 2022 5:32 AM CDT
Russia's 2nd-Largest Export Now a Target, Too: Gold
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, welcomes US President Biden at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The Group of Seven leading economic powers are meeting Sunday through Tuesday.   (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – President Biden said Sunday in Germany that the US and other Group of Seven nations will ban imports of gold from Russia—Moscow's second largest export after energy. A formal announcement was expected Tuesday as the leaders hold their annual summit. Senior Biden administration officials said banning gold would make it more difficult for Russia to participate in global markets, per the AP. And British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the ban will “directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine," a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war,” Johnson said. “We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding.” In recent years, gold has been the top Russian export after energy—reaching almost $19 billion or about 5% of global gold exports, in 2020, according to the White House. Of Russian gold exports, 90% was consigned to G-7 countries. Of these Russian exports, over 90%, or nearly $17 billion, was exported to the UK. The United States imported less than $200 million in gold from Russia in 2019, and under $1 million in 2020 and 2021.

Biden arrived in Germany’s picturesque Bavarian alps early Sunday to join his counterparts for the annual meeting of the world's leading democratic economies. Reverberations from the brutal war in Ukraine will be front and center of their discussions. Biden and the allies aim to present a united front in support of Ukraine as the conflict enters its fourth month. “We've got to make sure we have us all staying together," said Biden. "You know, we’re gonna continue working on economic challenges that we face, but I think we get through all this."

(Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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