Ukrainian soldiers prepare an automatic grenade launcher on the front line near Toretsk in the Donetsk region on October 12, 2022
Washington (AFP) - The G7 and IMF pledged their steadfast financial support to Ukraine on Wednesday as the country reels from Russian missile strikes and needs billions of dollars in monthly aid.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared by video link to urge more aid at a finance ministers gathering in Washington for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, just days after Russia’s missile salvo on Kyiv and other cities.
“We can see that Russian terror attacks can be intensified,” Zelensky said through an interpreter to the meeting dedicated to supporting Ukraine.
“So we need to intensify our collaboration for assistance in a symmetric way to rebuild what was destroyed and to guarantee the financial stability of our state,” he said, adding that Kyiv faces a $38 billion budget hole next year.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Ukraine’s financing needs in 2023 will range between $3 billion and $4 billion a month.
She said that at the request of Zelensky, the IMF would create the Ukraine Economic Forum to share information and clarify the country’s financing needs.
“We are moving with you in the direction of a strong Ukraine,” she said.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said meeting Ukraine’s needs “will require a unified and coordinated effort.”
“But together, the G7, the international financial institutions, and all of Ukraine’s partners can help Ukraine win this war and rebuild to become the prosperous and secure democracy that the Ukrainian people have fought so hard for,” she said.
The United States has provided $65 billion in aid, including military equipment to Kyiv since February.
- ‘Stand with Ukraine’ -
Earlier, Yellen and other finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies held their own talks about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“We urge Russia to immediately end its unjust and brutal war,” they said in a statement.
“The G7 will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes and remain strongly committed to supporting Ukraine’s urgent short-term financing needs,” the statement added.
The G7 also discussed its efforts to impose a price cap on Russia oil in a bid to deny the country a key source of funding for its war and contain soaring energy prices.
The group – which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – said it had made “significant progress on all key aspects” of the proposal, but they did not give any details.
The G7 welcomed Australia’s addition to the coalition. One of the challenges the G7 faces is rallying countries around the world behind the idea of a price cap.
- Putin warning -
Hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the proposal, which the United States has pushed and the EU supports pending details from the G7.
“With their cavalier decisions, some Western politicians are destroying the global market economy and are in fact posing a threat to the well-being of billions of people,” Putin told an energy forum in Moscow.
Moscow has warned that it would cut off oil supplies to countries that impose such a cap.
Officials have yet to say at what level the cap would be set, but they have said that it would remain above the cost of production so that Russia would still have an incentive to supply importing countries.