WASHINGTON D.C.: In the latest in a series of sanctions aimed at further isolating Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden said the U.S. and other Group of Seven (G7) leading economies will ban imports of gold from Russia.
A formal announcement was expected to be made this week when G7 leaders meet for their annual summit.
On the summit's opening day, Biden and his counterparts will discuss how to secure energy supplies, tackle inflation, and deal with the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as prevent the splintering of the global coalition working to restrict Moscow.
Hours before the summit's opening on June 26, Russia launched missiles at the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, hitting at least two residential buildings, said Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
Gold is Russia's second largest export after energy, and banning imports would make it more difficult for the country to participate in global markets, Biden administration officials said.
Russia "rakes in tens of billions of dollars" from the sale of its gold, Biden said in his Twitter feed.
According to the White House, Russian gold exports were valued at some $19 billion, or about 5 percent of global gold exports, in 2020.
Some 90 percent of Russian gold exports was consigned to G7 countries, with over 90 percent exported to the UK, while the U.S. imported less than $200 million in 2019, and under $1 million in 2020 and 2021.
According to Biden administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the UK was also expected to announce a ban on Russian gold imports, followed by a formal announcement by all G7 countries.