© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister Christian Lindner answers questions during a plenary session of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag in Berlin,Germany February 16, 2022. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
By Christian Kraemer and Tetsushi Kajimoto
BERLIN (Reuters) -The Group of Seven major economies expect agreement in coming days on possible further sanctions aimed at isolating Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s finance minister said after talks on Tuesday.
“We want to isolate Russia politically, financially and economically,” Christian Lindner told reporters after a virtual meeting of G7 finance chiefs chaired by Germany.
“We had an exchange on the implementation of the current sanctions and we also exchanged proposals on what additional measures could be taken,” Lindner said, adding: “And in the coming days there will be an agreement on this”.
He gave no details about what moves were under discussion but said the impact of measures curbing the activities of the Russian central bank and excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT inter-bank messaging system had already exceeded expectations.
“The rouble is in free-fall,” he said as the Russian currency weakened to around 112 to the dollar in trade on Tuesday.
His Japanese counterpart Shunichi Suzuki said G7 capitals had stressed the need for tight coordination of their measures against Moscow during the talks, which Ukraine’s Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko also joined.
Earlier, France’s Bruno Le Maire declared an “all-out economic and financial war” against Russia to bring down its economy before rowing back on language he later said was inappropriate.
The sanctions have had an immediate impact on Russia’s economy, with queues forming outside banks as Russians rush to salvage their savings. Oil company Shell (LON:RDSa) on Tuesday became the latest big Western firm to pull out of the country.
The measures limit Moscow’s use of a $640 billion war chest to defend its currency but it remains to be seen whether Russia can find other channels for trade and financing of its economy.
Notably, Chinese businesses and banks are looking for ways to limit the impact of sanctions on their relations with Russia, with settlement of transactions in yuan seen rising at the expense of the dollar.
G7 finance chiefs look to agree further moves to isolate Russia
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