By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Western governments plan to ratchet up pressure on Russia over its war in Ukraine, underscoring continued support for Ukraine when finance officials from around the world gather in Washington this week, senior U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen “will clearly, vocally and repeatedly highlight the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on the global economy,” one of the officials told reporters ahead of high-level meetings planned in coming days.
Yellen will meet with counterparts from the Group of Seven rich nations on Wednesday and the Group of 20 major economies – which include Russia – on Thursday, during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
She will also meet with Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko on Tuesday, and participate in a ministerial roundtable discussion about support for Ukraine that will be hosted by the World Bank on Wednesday, officials said.
U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday after Russia rained cruise missiles on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities on Monday in its most widespread air attacks since the start of the war on Feb. 24, killing at least 11 people and wounding 64.
Biden condemned the attacks and pledged to continue working with allies to hold Russia accountable for its “war crimes and atrocities,” the White House said.
Yellen does not plan to walk out when Russian officials speak at a gathering of Group of 20 officials on Thursday, as she and other Western officials did during the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, the official said.
Instead, they will “stay and rebut whatever the Russians say, both before they speak and after they speak,” the official said, blasting the “egregious methods” used by Russia in the war.
“We will clearly be calling out Russia at these meetings. We also expect our partners to be doing the same,” the official said, adding that Yellen would also urge partners to “accelerate and increase the scale of economic assistance to Ukraine.”
Yellen will continue efforts to structure a price cap on Russian oil, one of the officials said, although it was unclear when exactly the specific dollar level would be set.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo will also convene a meeting of U.S. partners to examine how Western sanctions have degraded Russia’s military supply chains and consult on further steps, the officials said.
The IMF is slated to downgrade its forecast for 2023 global growth on Tuesday to reflect the impact of the war, continued inflation and debt problems.