Monday, 8 August, 2022
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‘Russia's war in Ukraine 'greatest challenge' to global economy’

‘Russia's war in Ukraine 'greatest challenge' to global economy’

BALI  (Indonesia): Russia's war in Ukraine poses the greatest threat to the global economy, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday as G20 ministers prepare to start talks in Indonesia.

Moscow's invasion has sent inflation soaring at a time when the world is struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, endangering the gains of the past two years and threatening widespread hunger and poverty, reports AFP.

"Our greatest challenge today comes from Russia's illegal and unprovoked war against Ukraine," she said on the resort island of Bali ahead of a meeting between finance ministers from the world's top economies and central bank governors on Friday and Saturday.

"We are seeing negative spillover effects from that war in every corner of the world, particularly with respect to higher energy prices, and rising food insecurity," she added.

"Representatives of Putin's regime have no place at this forum."

Yellen said she will continue to press G20 allies at the meeting for a price cap on Russian oil to choke off Putin's war chest and pressure Moscow to end its invasion while bringing down energy costs.

"A price cap... is one of our most powerful tools to address the pain that Americans and families across the world are feeling at the gas pump and the grocery store," she said.

"A limit on the price of Russian oil would deny Putin revenue his war machine needs."

She expressed hope that India and China would join such a cap, saying it "would serve their own interests" to put downward pressure on prices for consumers globally.

But she refused to be drawn on whether Western officials will stage a multi-nation walkout when Russian officials speak, as they did at a G20 meeting in Washington in April.

"It cannot be business as usual," she said. "I can tell you that I can certainly expect to express in the strongest possible terms my views on Russia's invasion."

"I expect that many of my colleagues will do the same."

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov will only attend the talks virtually, a week after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov found himself outnumbered by G20 counterparts in their criticism of Moscow's military assault.