The United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Japan will impose a ban on Russian gold imports in an effort to limit Moscow’s ability to fund the Ukrainian war.
The UK Prime Minister stated that the move would “strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.”
Gold exports to Russia were worth £12.6 billion ($15.4 billion) in 2021, according to the UK, and their importance has grown since the invasion as oligarchs rush to buy bullion to avoid sanctions.
It comes as the world’s richest nations gather in Germany for the G7 summit.
US Vice President Joe Biden suggested that the other G7 countries, Germany, France, and Italy, would also join the ban.
“Together, the G7 will announce that we will prohibit the import of Russian gold, a major export that earns Russia tens of billions of dollars,” he said in a tweet.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, added: “We must deprive the Putin regime of funding. That is exactly what the United Kingdom and our allies are doing.”
The UK government said the move would have a significant impact on President Putin’s ability to raise funds because London is a major global trading hub for gold.
Since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have imposed a slew of sanctions on wealthy individuals, banks, businesses, and state-owned enterprises.
So far, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and other countries have sanctioned over 1,000 Russian individuals and businesses.
The latest measure will impose import restrictions on Russian exports worth approximately £13.5 billion to the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom announced that the gold import ban would go into effect soon, with legislation to be introduced in Parliament in the coming weeks.
It applies only to newly mined or refined gold and has no bearing on gold previously exported from Russia.
There are no plans to extend restrictions to Russian gold purchased legally prior to the import ban.
The G7 summit in Bavaria is expected to focus on the international response to the Ukrainian conflict, as well as rising prices and the global food crisis.