Biden pushes for Russia’s removal from G20

West cranks up costs for Russia as the war enters the second month

Brussels: U.S. President Joe Biden said he thinks Russia should be removed from the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies and the topic was raised during his meetings with world leaders in Brussels earlier on Thursday.

“My answer is yes, depends on the G20,” Biden said when asked if Russia should be removed from the group.

President Biden and Western allies pledged new sanctions and humanitarian aid on Thursday in response to Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine, but their offers fell short of the more robust military assistance that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded for in a pair of live-video appearances.

The Western leaders spent Thursday crafting next steps to counter Russia’s month-old invasion — and huddling over how they might respond should Putin deploy chemical, biological, or even a nuclear weapon. They met in a trio of emergency summits that had them shuttling across Brussels for back-to-back-to-back meetings of NATO, the Group of Seven industrialized nations, and the 27-member European Council.

The Biden administration on Thursday announced sanctions on more than 300 Russian lawmakers and dozens of state-owned companies that are connected to the war effort in the invasion of Ukraine. The announcement came as President Biden met with NATO allies and Group of Seven (G-7) leaders in Brussels to discuss how to respond to the invasion as it stretches into its second month.

“I’m announcing additional sanctions on over 400 Russian elites, lawmakers, and defense companies in response to Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine. They personally gain from the Kremlin’s policies, and they should share in the pain,” Biden tweeted.

The sanctions target 328 members of the Duma, Russia’s legislative body, as well as the Duma itself as an entity. The U.S. is also sanctioning 17 board members of Sovcombank, one of the largest Russian financial institutions, as well as 48 Russian defense enterprises that have been producing equipment for the war effort, including helicopters and tactical missiles.

In addition to the new sanctions rolled out by the Biden administration, the U.S. and its European allies rolled out an initiative intended to better enforce existing sanctions on Russia.

Image courtesy of (Image Courtesy: AP)

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