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US economy

Yellen says Russian officials at G20 meeting 'complicit' in war atrocities

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference as G20 finance leaders gathered on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India, February 23, 2023. REUTERS/Samuel Rajkumar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen accused Russian officials attending a G20 finance leaders meeting on Friday of being “complicit” in atrocities in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and for the damage the war has caused to the global economy.

In remarks to an opening session of the gathering on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, Yellen called on G20 counterparts to “redouble their efforts to support Ukraine and restrict Russia’s capacity to wage war.”

She said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “weaponisation” of food and energy has hurt not only Ukraine, but the global economy and especially developing countries.

“I urge the Russian officials here at the G20 to understand that their continued work for the Kremlin makes them complicit in Putin’s atrocities,” Yellen said. “They bear responsibility for the lives and livelihoods being taken in Ukraine and the harm caused globally.”

Russia was represented in the room by senior economic officials, according to a U.S. Treasury official. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina were not in attendance.

Yellen added that ending the war was a “moral imperative” for the global economy and repeated that United States “will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”