World (The Times Groupe)- The Group of Seven (G7), the world largest economies agreed Friday to provide $19.8bn to Ukraine to ensure its finances do not hinder Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
Christian Lindner, Germany‘s finance minister, told reporters that the G7 finance ministers in Königswinter, Germany, this week mobilized $9.5bn of the total amount.
“We agreed that Ukraine’s financial situation must have no influence on Ukraine’s ability to defend itself successfully,” he said at a press conference to mark the end of the G7 finance ministers’ meeting. “We need to do our utmost to end this war.”
The Russian invasion has been discussed in almost every meeting this week, from the need to reduce reliance on Russian energy to reforming relationships between countries in order to maintain economic stability.
“Russia’s war of aggression is causing global economic disruptions, impacting the security of global energy supply, food production and exports of food and agricultural commodities, as well as the functioning of global supply chains in general,” a G7 statement said.
Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and other leaders spoke this week about the need for allies to provide enough additional aid to help Ukraine survive the Russian invasion.
“All of us pledged to do what’s necessary to fill the gap,” Yellen said Thursday as the ministers finished their first of two days of talks. “We’re going to put together the resources that they need.”
According to IMF’s latest world economic outlook, Ukraine’s economy is expected to contract by 35 percent this year and next.
As the G7’s finance ministers discussed, they also discussed deepening inflation, food security issues, and other economic matters.
A communique marking the end of the G7 finance ministers’ meeting addressed commitments to addressing debt distress in low-income countries, trying to ease the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and staving off inflation rates “that have reached levels not seen for decades”.
The US approved its own $40bn infusion of military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies as the finance ministers met in Germany. All Democrats voted for the bill, as did most Republicans.
Other issues of concern for the G7 finance leaders included monitoring and regulating cryptocurrency and other digital assets, as well as streamlining pandemic response efforts.