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Russian invasion will have ‘enormous repercussions’

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned a House panel on Wednesday that Russian aggression in Eastern Europe would have “enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond.” She added that rising prices for energy, metals, wheat and corn produced by Russia and Ukraine “will also add to inflationary pressures.”

Russia’s invasion “including the atrocities committed against innocent Ukrainians in Bucha, is reprehensible, represents an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order and will have enormous economic repercussions for the world”, he said. she told the House Financial Services Committee.

His remarks were part of his annual testimony on the state of the international financial system.

In addition to addressing the need for global food and energy security and debt sustainability, Yellen called on Congress to lend support to International Monetary Fund and World Bank organizations, which have provided grants. and humanitarian funds to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

“Globally,” she said, “the fallout from the crisis is aggravating economic vulnerabilities in many countries that are already facing higher debt burdens and limited policy options as they are recovering from COVID-19.”

“The sanctions we have imposed on Russia are driving up the price of energy. This is a price worth paying to punish Russia for what it is doing in Ukraine,” she added, citing the impact of the conflict on Americans at home.

Inflation hit 40-year highs as a closely watched Federal Reserve inflation gauge jumped 6.4% in February from a year ago, the biggest rise in a year on the other since January 1982.

The United States and its Western allies slapped an avalanche of sanctions on Russia in the first weeks of the war, and administration officials have focused more in recent days on closing loopholes that Russia might try to close. use to circumvent them.

On Wednesday morning, the United States announced new sanctions, this time targeting the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and toughening sentences against Russian banks in retaliation for “war crimes” in Ukraine.

“The Treasury is committed to holding Russia accountable for its actions so that it cannot benefit from the international financial system,” Yellen said.

Lawmakers also asked Yellen about China and the threat of an invasion of Taiwan as the United States and its allies continue to impose sanctions on Russia. She said the United States was prepared to impose sanctions on China if Beijing moved aggressively towards Taiwan, as some fear.

“I think we showed we could in the case of Russia,” she said. “I don’t think you should doubt our ability to resolve to do the same in other situations.”

She was also asked about Russia’s participation in the G-20 summit, which is due to take place in Indonesia later this year.

The Indonesian government has said it will host the G-20 summit in an impartial manner, resisting calls to exclude Russia.

“I made it clear to my colleagues in Indonesia that we will not be participating in a number of meetings” at the annual summit where Russia would be involved, Yellen said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki clarified later in the day that Yellen was referring to meetings at the ministerial level and that the United States would not boycott the summit in its entirety.

“It shouldn’t be business as usual,” she said.

President Joe Biden has said he would like to kick Russia out of the G-20.

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