Washington DC: Senior finance officials walked out of a G20 meeting in Washington, DC, on Wednesday in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen led a multination boycott as Russian officials spoke. She was joined by Ukrainian, British, French, and Canadian delegates. As many attendees attended virtually, they turned their cameras off instead.
The G20 is chaired by Indonesia this year and includes major economies such as the US, China, India, Brazil, Japan, and several European countries, including Russia.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that, despite the tension, global cooperation “must and will continue,” citing a long list of issues that “no country can solve on its own.”
The meeting came on the sidelines of a semiannual conference held by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. It was the first such meeting since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.
Ahead of the walkout, Yellen reportedly told attendees that she disapproved of the presence of Russia’s deputy finance minister, Timur Maksimov, who attended in person. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Russia’s central bank governor joined virtually
Ahead of the meeting, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Germany would try to find common ground, but added, “We will not provide a stage for Russia to spread propaganda and lies.”
After the incident, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov urged the G20 not to politicize dialogue between member states, saying they risked undermining confidence in the global monetary and financial system.