G7 will seek to seize assets of key Russian elites -Yellen

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The move “will inflict financial hardship on the powerful people around (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and make it clear that no one is beyond our collective reach,” Yellen said in a statement after a virtual meeting of G7 finance chiefs. .

The G7 will also continue to approve the withdrawal of major Russian financial institutions from the SWIFT banking system, she said, adding that the group expects the sanctions imposed so far to “hinder the Russian government’s ability to finance his invasion.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

The sanctions had an immediate impact on the Russian economy, with queues forming outside banks as Russians rush to save their savings. Oil company Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Tuesday became the latest major Western company to pull out of the country.

The measures limit Moscow’s use of a $640 billion war chest to defend its currency, but it remains to be seen whether Russia can find other channels for trade and financing its economy.

In particular, Chinese companies and banks are looking for ways to limit the impact of sanctions on their relations with Russia, as the settlement of transactions in yuan increases at the expense of the dollar.

Earlier on Tuesday, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the G7 expected an agreement in the coming days on possible new sanctions, although he gave no details on the measures underway. of discussing.

“We want to isolate Russia politically, financially and economically,” Lindner told reporters after the virtual meeting chaired by Germany.

“We had an exchange on the implementation of the current sanctions and we also exchanged proposals on what additional measures could be taken,” he said, adding: “And in the next few days there will be agreement on this”.

Lindner said the impact of measures limiting Russian central bank activities and excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging system had already exceeded expectations.

“The ruble is in free fall,” he said as the Russian currency weakened to around 112 to the dollar in trading on Tuesday.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said G7 capitals stressed the need for close coordination of their actions against Moscow during the talks, which Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko also joined.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Bruno Le Maire declared an “all-out economic and financial war” on Russia to bring down its economy before backtracking on language he later called inappropriate.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer in Berlin and Chris Gallagher in Washington Additional reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto in Tokyo Writing by Mark John Editing by Ross Finley and Matthew Lewis)

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