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U.S. Treasury Secretary calls for increased financing support to Ukraine

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped up calls for increased financing support to Ukraine to help it battle the year-old Russian invasion on Thursday. Meanwhile, the United States readies an additional USD 10 billion in economic assistance to the war-torn country in the coming weeks.

Speaking at a news conference in India, ahead of the G20 meeting, the treasury secretary said it was critical for the International Monetary Fund to “move swiftly” towards a fully financed loan program for Ukraine.

“As President Biden has said, we will stand with Ukraine in its fight for as long as it takes… Continued robust support for Ukraine will be a major topic of discussion during my time here in India,” she told a press conference.

I'm holding a press conference to discuss priorities [email protected] during the G20, including bolstering the resilience of the U.S. and global economy, and holding Russia accountable as we approach the one-year mark of its illegal war in Ukraine.

— Secretary Janet Yellen (@SecYellen) February 23, 2023

Ukraine is seeking a USD 15 billion multi-year IMF program, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Monday after meeting IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Kyiv.

U.S. warns China over helping Russia’s war effort

Yellen said that G20 countries, especially China, need to work to ease the debt overhang that is putting more than half of low-income countries in debt distress.

She stressed that talks between the United States and China on economic issues would resume at an appropriate time, but also warned Beijing that providing any material support to Russia’s war effort would be “a very serious concern”.

The treasury secretary also vowed that the U.S. and its allies would continue to impose “further sanctions” on Russia as the conflict drags on.

Today we begin the @g20org Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Ministerial in Bengaluru, India. Over the next days I will meet with counterparts to discuss building a more resilient global economy, and our ongoing efforts to hold Russia accountable for its illegal war.

— Secretary Janet Yellen (@SecYellen) February 23, 2023

India pressing to keep neutral language

India, which has kept a neutral stance on the war, does not want additional sanctions against Russia to be discussed at the G20 meetings, Reuters reported quitting government sources.

India also pressed participants to avoid using the term “war” in communique language to describe the conflict, G20 officials said. But Yellen said she would like to see forceful condemnation of the war and stressed that past G20 statements had contained strong language on the Ukraine conflict.

Yellen is to join other finance ministers and heads of central banks from the Group of 20 nations on Friday. It is the first major meeting of India’s year-long presidency of the bloc, which includes G7 countries as well as Russia, China, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia.

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