By: Shubham Ghosh
US treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday (23) sought more financial support to Ukraine to fight invasion by Russian troops which started a year ago as the US gears up for an additional $10 billion in economic aid in the coming weeks. However, her words on the conflict uttered in India where she has reached for a high-profile G20 meeting might make things uneasy for the host nation which has maintained a neutral stance on the conflict.
Speaking at a press conference in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru on the eve of the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion, Yellen said it was critical for the International Monetary Fund to make a swift move towards a fully financed loan plan for the east European nation.
The US treasury secretary was set to join finance ministers and heads of central banks from the Group of 20 nations for a meeting on Friday (24) at a resort near India’s tech capital. The talks will be the first major one in India’s year-long G20 presidency which started on December 1 last year.
According to Yellen, the US’s previous military, economic and humanitarian aid of $46 billion helped Ukraine to maintain its economic and financial stability despite facing “extraordinary circumstances”.
“Our economic assistance is making Ukraine’s resistance possible by supporting the home front: funding critical public services and helping keep the government running. In the coming months, we expect to provide around $10 billion in additional economic support for Ukraine,” she was quoted as saying by Reuters.
India is against discussion on additional sanctions against Russia at the G20 meetings, government sources have told Reuters. It has been asking the participants not to use “war” in the language of the communique to describe the conflict between the two nations, according to G20 officials.
But Yellen said she wanted to see a forceful condemnation of the conflict and emphasised that statements made at the G20 in the past saw strong language on the conflict in Ukraine.
On the global economy, Yellen said it “is in a better place today than many predicted just a few months ago” with concerns that the war’s spillovers would slow growth fading.
She added that while headline inflation was starting to ease in the US and elsewhere in the globe, it was important for the G20 finance officials to continue working to curb inflation. “We are not out of the woods yet,” she told Reuters.
On talks between the US and China on economic issues, Yellen said they would resume when the time is right but warned the Asian nation that extending any material help to the Kremlin over war efforts would be “a very serious concern”.