U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reportedly led a major walkout joined by top economic leaders at the G-20 meeting on Wednesday. The walkout, which was joined by officials said as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, happened after a Russian official began to speak at the gathering.

Sources who were present at the event said several people, including central bank governors, finance ministers, and other high-ranking officials, walked out after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov began to speak. Russia's top economic official, who was sanctioned by the U.S. earlier this month, spoke at the gathering remotely.

Once he began to speak, several officials reportedly turned their cameras off, effectively walking out of the meeting. Sources familiar with the matter claimed that the walkout was pre-coordinated and planned before the meeting began. A U.S. official who asked to remain anonymous said Yellen had also already planned to boycott any segment of the meeting attended by Russian officials. A UK official also said British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak did not plan to attend any meeting with a Russian official present.

The walkout underscores the growing backlash of Russia's war in Ukraine and its increased isolation because of its actions. Since it crossed unprovoked into Ukraine, Russia has faced global backlash, which has resulted in several economic sanctions and boycotts from major companies that have pulled out their business from the country. The U.S. and its allies have accused Russia, particularly Russian President Vladimir Putin, of being guilty of war crimes.

The G-20 was established in 1999 as a forum for top finance officials and central bank executives from the world's major countries to discuss policy coordination. Heads of state were later included in the group. The G-7 is separate from the G-20 and was formed in the 1970s in response to global energy problems and the recession. It was renamed the G-8 after Russia joined in 1998 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, Russia's membership was terminated in 2014 following its invasion of Crimea, and the group was renamed the G-7.

After Russia began its attack on Ukraine, the U.S. has been calling on other members to kick Russia out of the G-20 and join its efforts to cripple the nation's economy. U.S. President Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that the country's goal will be to devastate the Russian economy so that it can no longer fund its bloody war in Ukraine.