UK, US, Canada and Japan ban imports of Russian gold at G7 summit


UK, US, Canada and Japan ban imports of Russian gold as Boris urges G7 leaders to ‘starve Putin of his funding’ for Ukraine war

The UK, US, Canada and Japan are banning imports of Russian gold as Boris Johnson urges the G7 to ‘starve’ Vladimir Putin of funding for the Ukraine war.

Gold exports were worth £12.6billion to Russia in 2021, oligarchs are believed to have been using bullion to avoid the impact of sanctions.

Downing Street says that because London is a major gold-trading hub, the UK’s restrictions will have a huge impact on Mr Putin’s ability to finance his war effort.

The PM confirmed the move as he arrived at the G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany.

He said: ‘The measures we have announced today will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.

‘Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war. He is bankrolling his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people.

Boris Johnson

Vladimir Putin

The UK, US, Canada and Japan are banning imports of Russian gold as Boris Johnson (left) urges the G7 to ‘starve’ Vladimir Putin (right) of funding for the Ukraine war

Mr Johnson warned allies against becoming 'exhausted with this thing', arguing it would be a 'disaster' for the world if Putin wins ground in Ukraine (pictured, the aftermath of strikes in Kyiv yesterday)

Mr Johnson warned allies against becoming ‘exhausted with this thing’, arguing it would be a ‘disaster’ for the world if Putin wins ground in Ukraine (pictured, the aftermath of strikes in Kyiv yesterday)

US president Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One in Munich last night ahead of the summit

US president Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One in Munich last night ahead of the summit 

‘We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.’

Legislation to implement the ban will be introduced in Parliament in the coming weeks.

The prohibition will apply to newly mined or refined gold.

It does not impact Russian-origin gold previously exported from Russia and there are no plans to extend restrictions to gold purchased legitimately before the import ban was put in place.

The move, on top of existing sanctions, will mean restrictions will apply to Russian exports worth around £13.5 billion from a range of industries.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Given London’s role at the heart of the global gold trade, this shows the UK will take tough steps to stop the Russian war machine.’

Mr Johnson has pledged a further £430million to Ukraine as he pushes for a ‘Plan B’ to free grain from Russia’s clutches.

Speaking on the eve of the G7 meeting, the Prime Minister confirmed the UK would back more World Bank loans to Ukraine later on in the year, bringing its total support up to £1.2 billion.

Mr Johnson, who is attending the summit on the back of a Commonwealth meeting in Rwanda, said: ‘Ukraine can win and it will win. But they need our backing to do so. Now is not the time to give up on Ukraine.’

The PM confirmed the move as he arrived at the G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany. Pictured, the Schloss Elmau where the leaders are gathering

The PM confirmed the move as he arrived at the G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany. Pictured, the Schloss Elmau where the leaders are gathering

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau arrives for the summit in Germany yesterday

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau arrives for the summit in Germany yesterday

French President Emmanuel Macron has also arrived for the gathering of world leaders

French President Emmanuel Macron has also arrived for the gathering of world leaders

It comes as he criticised current United Nations plans to get grain out of the war-torn country, saying they are doomed to fail because Russian President Vladimir Putin will use famine as a bargaining chip to ease sanctions.

Instead, he says a ‘Plan B’, which would involved de-mining the Black Sea, providing further weapons and offering insurance for commercial vessels trying to run the Russian blockade, is needed.

Mr Johnson warned allies against becoming ‘exhausted with this thing’, arguing it would be a ‘disaster’ for the world if Putin wins ground.

‘I’m going to make it today in the (leaders) retreat, but tomorrow in the G7. I think it’s just repeating that basic point that a victory for Putin is a disaster,’ Mr Johnson said.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was also warning against getting ‘tired’ support for Ukraine, as she warned against a peace deal that would be a ‘concession’ to Moscow.

After holding talks with Turkey in Ankara, she told reporters in Kigali that ‘we’ve only got a month to do this’.

‘My concern is that Russia is currently prevaricating,’ she said.

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