(The Hill) – President Biden said Sunday that the Group of Seven (G7) nations will ban Russian gold imports to further impose financial costs on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
“The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine,” Biden tweeted on Sunday. “Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.”
Biden’s announcement came on the first day of a G7 meeting in Germany; a formal announcement is expected later on during the summit.
While it does not bring in as much money as energy, gold is a major source of revenue for the Russian economy. Restricting exports to G7 economies will cause more financial strain to Russia as it wages the war in Ukraine.
The G7 includes the United States, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy.
The U.S. and its allies have been searching for more ways to punish Russia for the bloody war that recently entered its fifth month. Biden has announced waves of penalties coordinated with allies that range from sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs to export controls to sanctions on major Russian banks.
Still, Europeans are limited in what they can do because of their dependence on Russian energy imports. European countries have vowed to phase out Russian oil but have not taken steps like the U.S. to do so immediately.
Biden administration officials teased new announcements to squeeze Russia ahead of Biden’s trip to Europe and it’s possible there will be more announcements beyond the plan to ban Russian gold imports.
Biden embarked on the trip to Europe for the G7 meeting and, later, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit with the goal of demonstrating unity with allies on keeping up pressure on Russia even as the war roils the global economy.
Biden spent Sunday morning meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and later participated in a working lunch with other leaders.
A White House readout of Biden’s meeting with Scholz indicated Ukraine was a main topic of conversation.
“The leaders underlined their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as their continued provision of military, economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic support to help Ukraine defend its democracy against Russian aggression,” the White House readout said. “The leaders also discussed efforts to alleviate the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine on global food and energy security.”
Biden also thanked Scholz for committing to boosting Germany’s defense spending above NATO’s 2 percent of gross domestic product target.
A White House official characterized the meeting as “very warm and friendly” and said there was “very broad alignment on all of the issues that they discussed and all the common challenges that our countries are working on together.”