ELMAU, Germany — The G7 economic powers will ban imports of Russian gold in a further tightening of the stranglehold Western nations have sought to impose in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine.
U.S. President Joe Biden announced the plan as the G7 leaders were due to arrive at a Schloss Elmau, the luxury resort in the Bavarian Alps, for a summit where discussions about the war and the global economic fallout are expected to dominate.
“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 tweeted.
Western allies have imposed six rounds of punishing sanctions in response to the war, many of them designed to decimate Russia’s largely extraction-based economy. These have included bans on Russian oil, and extensive export controls aimed at denying Russia crucially-needed technology.
Western allies have also been sending Ukraine supplies of weapons and ammunitions even as they have refused to directly join the fighting.
The sanctions, while historic in scale and scope, have yet to deter Putin or lead him to pull back his armies, which are now occupying large swaths of southern and eastern Ukraine, including a so-called land bridge to Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Russia invaded and annexed in 2014.
Russian forces failed in an attempt to capture Kyiv, the capital, and topple the Ukrainian government, but they now seem intent on conquering and occupying the entirety of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
In a statement, the U.K. government confirmed the move, saying: “U.K., U.S., Japan and Canada will lead G7 to ban import of Russian gold, the country’s biggest non-energy export.”