US, UK, Canada, Japan Ban Imports of Russian Gold
G7 nations announce ban on imports of gold from Russia
Members of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations on Sunday announced a ban on imports of Russian gold, according to reports.
The move by the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and Canada is part of efforts to tighten the sanctions squeeze on Moscow.
Western nations are seeking to cut off Russia's means of financing the invasion of Ukraine.
It comes after more than four months into the conflict that Russian President Vladimir Putin calls a special military operation.
The G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps begins under the shadow of the war in Ukraine and consequences ranging from global energy shortages to a food crisis.
On Sunday morning, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that "fatigue" over the Ukraine war could fracture Western unity.
The PM said there was obvious "anxiety" about the fallout from trying to defeat Putin's aggression.
But speaking at the gathering in Germany this morning, Johnson said he hoped everyone recognized that "the price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed... will be far, far higher."
Asked if he was worried about support fracturing, the premier said: "I think the pressure is there and the anxiety is there, we've got to be honest about that.
"But the most incredible thing about the way the West has responded to the invasion of Ukraine by Putin has been the unity – Nato has been solid, the G7 has been solid and we continue to be solid.
"But in order to protect that unity, in order to make it work, we've got to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what's going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling, that populations are feeling – whether it's on the costs of their energy or food or whatever."
"The measures we have announced today will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin's war machine," Johnson added in a statement.
"We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding.
"The UK and our allies are doing just that."
A senior U.S. administration representative said the G7 would make an official announcement on the gold import ban on Tuesday.
"This is a key export, a key source of revenue for Russia in terms of their ability to transact with the global financial system," the U.S. official said.
Russian gold exports were worth 12.6 billion pounds ($15.45 billion) last year and wealthy Russians have been buying bullion to reduce the financial impact of Western sanctions, the British government said.
As well as the gold import ban, G7 leaders were also having "really constructive" talks on a possible price cap on Russian oil imports, a German government source said.