Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Washington, U.S., August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 major economies cannot function effectively as long as Russia remains a member, Canada’s finance minister said on Friday after a week of protests against Moscow’s war on Ukraine at meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. in Washington.

The divisiveness over Russia’s presence at the meetings has been evident throughout the week, with officials from the United States, Canada, Britain and other Western nations staging walkouts three days in a row whenever Russian officials were talking. Read more

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, who met in Washington on Wednesday, failed to agree on its traditional statement outlining economic policy goals, with Russia blocking strong language condemning its invasion of Ukraine.

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The IMF’s Governing Board and the World Bank-IMF Development Committee have also not issued joint statements. Read more

“The G20 cannot operate effectively with Russia at the table,” Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said during a press conference with Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko in Washington.

“Russia has no place at the table of countries that have come together to maintain global economic prosperity,” Freeland said, adding that Russia had violated longstanding international rules with its invasion of southern Russia. Ukraine. “You can’t be a poacher and a game warden at the same time.”

The tensions have called into question the effectiveness of the G20, which includes Western countries that have accused Moscow of war crimes in Ukraine, as well as China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, which do not have not joined Western-led sanctions against Russia over the conflict.

Indonesia, host of the G20 this year, remains optimistic that progress can be made on a number of issues despite the tensions, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told Reuters in an interview.

“Even with an exit, we all agree” on the substance of the work that needs to be done, Indrawati said.

Indrawati said she was focusing more on the “grassroots” technical work behind issues such as strengthening a G20 common debt framework for poor countries and creating a new debt mechanism. funding for future pandemic needs, than issuing a statement at the current stage.

With further G20 finance meetings scheduled for July and October and a leaders’ summit in November, Indrawati said there was ample time to continue progress.

“If there is no forum at all, then the world is going to be in a much worse situation”, each country defining its policy without worrying about the others.

Freeland, who is of Ukrainian descent, has made impassioned pleas on behalf of Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in late February. Read more

On Thursday, she spoke directly to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who participated in an IMF meeting virtually, saying his participation was ‘perverse and absurd’ since ‘your war is making us poorer’, according to a source. . Read more

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

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Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal in Washington and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Paul Simao and Chris Reese

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