In early June, at the behest of the Biden administration, German leaders assembled top economic officials from the Group of 7 nations for a video conference with the goal of striking a major financial blow to Russia.
The Americans had been trying, in a series of one-off conversations last year, to sound out their counterparts in Europe, Canada and Japan on an unusual and untested idea. Administration officials wanted to try to cap the price that Moscow could command for every barrel of oil it sold on the world market. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen had floated the plan a few weeks earlier at a meeting of finance ministers in Bonn, Germany.
The reception had been mixed, in part because other countries were not sure how serious the administration was about proceeding. But the call in early June left no doubt: American officials said they were committed to the oil price cap idea and urged everyone else to get on board. At the end of the month, the Group of 7 leaders signed on to the…
This article was written by Jim Tankersley and originally published on www.nytimes.com