US president Joe Biden says ‘G-7 to ban Russian gold in response to Ukraine war’
President Joe Biden said Sunday that the United States and other Group of Seven leading economies will ban imports of gold from Russia, the latest in a series of sanctions that the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine.
A formal announcement was expected Tuesday as the leaders meet for their annual summit.
Biden and his counterparts will huddle on the summit's opening day Sunday to discuss how to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, aiming to keep the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow.
Hours before the summit was set to open, Russia launched missile strikes against the Ukrainian capital Sunday, striking at least two residential buildings, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. They were the first such strikes by Russia in three weeks.
Senior Biden administration officials said gold is Moscow's second largest export after energy. Banning imports would make it more difficult for Russia to participate in global markets, they said.
Biden's Twitter feed said Russia “rakes in tens of billions of dollars” from the sale of its gold.
In recent years, gold has been the top Russian export after energy — reaching almost $19 billion or about 5% of global gold exports, in 2020, according to the White House.
Of Russian gold exports, 90% was consigned to G-7 countries. Of these Russian exports, over 90%, or nearly $17 billion, was exported to the UK. The United States imported less than $200 million in gold from Russia in 2019, and under $1 million in 2020 and 2021.
The UK also was expected to announce Sunday that it will ban Russian gold imports, followed by a formal announcement Tuesday involving all G-7 countries, according to the Biden administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details before the announcement.
Biden arrived in Germany’s picturesque Bavarian alps early Sunday morning to join his counterparts for the annual meeting of the world's leading democratic economies, where the reverberations from the brutal war in Ukraine will be front and center in the discussion. He and the allies aim to present a united front in support of Ukraine as the conflict enters its fourth month.
Biden attended Mass performed by a U.S. Army priest, the White House said. The president was opening the visit by meeting with the summit’s host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, before spending the afternoon in both formal and informal settings with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union.
John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said Saturday that the summit will address problems such as inflation and other “challenges in the global economy as a result of Mr. Putin’s war — but also how to continue to hold Mr. Putin accountable” and subject to “constant consequences.”
“There will be some muscle movements,” Kirby said from Air Force One as Biden flew to Germany.
Among the issues to be discussed are price caps on energy which are meant to limit Russian oil and gas profits that Moscow can put to use in its war effort. The idea has been championed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
A senior German official, speaking on condition of anonymity consistent with department rules, said the U.S. idea of price caps was being discussed intensely, in terms of how it would work exactly and how it would fit with the U.S., EU, British, Canadian and Japanese sanctions regimes.
Officials were also set to discuss how to maintain commitments to addressing climate change while also solving critical energy supply needs as a result of the war.
“There’s no watering down of climate commitments,” Kirby said.
Biden is also set on Sunday to formally launch a global infrastructure partnership meant to counter China’s influence in the developing world, which he had named “Build Back Better World” and introduced at last year’s G-7 summit.
Kirby said Biden and other leaders would announce the first projects to benefit from what the U.S. sees as an “alternative to infrastructure models that sell debt traps to low- and middle-income partner countries, and advance U.S. economic competitiveness and our national security.”
After Germany wraps up on Tuesday, Biden will travel to Madrid to meet with the leaders of the 30 members of NATO to align strategy on the war in Ukraine.
Scotland will on Monday become the first country in the world to ensure universal access to free period products following the passing of landmark legislation in 2020. "Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them," said Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison. "We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action," she added.
Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is able to talk, said his book agent Andrew Wylie, a day after The Satanic Verses author was stabbed at an event in New York. Rushdie remained hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer had tweeted late evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie's agent confirmed the information to Associated Press without giving further details.
US President Joe Biden expressed shock over the "vicious attack" on Salman Rushdie and said that he pray for his health and recovery. White House termed the attack on Salman Rushdie as "appalling" and said that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration is praying for a speedy recovery of the renowned author. Hadi Matar, who is suspected of stabbing an Indian-born-British author in western New York State on Friday morning during a lecture was arraigned in centralized arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. A suspect has been taken into custody.
A 24-year old New Jersey man charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking author Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty. Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. Authorities with New York State Police told PTI that Matar pleaded not guilty and was held in the Chautauqua County Jail.
Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man who stabbed Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie in New York on Friday, has been charged with 'attempted murder and assault in the second degree', the Chautauqua Country district attorney's office said on Saturday. Matar was born and raised in the US, the head of the local municipality, Ali Qassem Tahfa, told news agency AFP. Rushdie remained hospitalised in serious condition.