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19 May 2022

Money for Ukraine Priority in G7 Agenda; Inflation, Food a Concern

The Index Today

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain, Germany, France and Italy - the G7, agreed on Thursday and Friday to help Ukraine pay its bills in coming months, but surging inflation, climate change, supply chains and the impending food crisis are also on the agenda.

Group of Seven financial leaders are holding talks as Ukraine, invaded by Russia on Feb. 24, is struggling to fend off the attack and is running out of cash.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the group, told reporters on entering the talks, "We have to secure the liquidity of the Ukrainian state."

"I am quite optimistic that we will be able at this G7 meeting to rise the funding which would allow Ukraine to defend itself over the next months," he added.

"The war in Ukraine ... also entails additional risks for the development of the world economy ... inflation, but also the lack of recovery after the pandemic. Therefore, we will have to discuss what we can do together in our respective areas of responsibility to avoid stagflation scenarios," Lindner said.

Reuters reported that the Ukraine war is a game-changer for Western powers, forcing them to rethink decades-old relations with Russia not only in terms of security, but also in energy, food and global supply alliances from microchips to rare earths.

"Ukraine is overshadowing these meetings. But there are other issues that must be discussed," a G7 official, who asked not to be named, said, adding that debt, international taxation, climate change and global health were all up for debate.

In addition to the report of Reuters, Ukraine estimates its financial needs at $5 billion a month to keep public employees' salaries paid and the administration working despite the daily destruction wrought by Russia.

©Photo: Financial Times

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