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The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) steering committee failed to reach an agreement on a communiqué calling for Russia to end its war in Ukraine during IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington, where finance ministers and central bank chiefs are discussing a cap on the price of Russian oil.

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Nadia Calvino, Spain’s economy minister, told a news conference on October 14 that Russia again blocked issuance of a joint communiqué during a meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

Calvino, chairwoman of the committee, instead issued a statement recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine were “weighing heavily on economic activity” with significant impact on livelihoods.

There has been a “very strong call” throughout the week of meetings for Russia to stop its war against Ukraine, said Calvino.

“The war is the single most important element slowing down growth and generating inflation, volatility, energy and food insecurity and uncertainty,” she told a press conference.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen echoed her statement, telling reporters that many of the diverse and difficult challenges that face the global economy “stem from Russia’s terrible war in Ukraine and the continued recovery from the pandemic.”

Asked about progress on setting a price cap for Russian oil, she said no decision has been made but that a coalition of countries, including the G7, the European Union, and Australia, have committed to deciding what the price cap will be.

Once it’s adopted, the members of the coalition will make sure that the suppliers of insurance, financial, and other services can only be provided if the purchase of Russian oil occurs at a price below the cap.

Yellen called it “an innovative policy that aims to cut Putin’s revenue while keeping Russian oil flowing onto global markets at low prices.”

She also said a price cap will help stabilize global energy prices and provide developing countries with greater leverage to negotiate better prices for Russian oil.

The countries are now considering several benchmarks that are relevant in deciding what the price cap should be, including the cost for Russia to produce oil.

Also on October 14, countries that have imposed economic restrictions on Russia held a meeting to assess the impact of the measures.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said the restrictions on the Russian military-industrial complex have had a direct effect on the battlefield.

“Together, our collective actions have rendered the Russian military-industrial complex unable to produce and maintain critical equipment for operations in Ukraine,” Adeyemo said.

He said the collective impact of sanctions and other measures has left Russia unable to access advanced technology and international financial systems. This has hobbled the Russian defense industry’s ability to produce weapons, as well as replace those that have been destroyed in the war, he said.

He also said Russia is running out of microelectronics that are critical to their military-industrial complex, and Russian officials are concerned that they don’t have enough foreign components.

Two of Russia’s largest domestic microelectronics manufacturers have had to temporarily halt production due to a lack of critical, foreign technologies, he said.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

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