US pushes for more IMF aid to Ukraine, tougher sanctions on Russia
Bangalore, India, Feb 23 (EFE).- The United States will push for tougher and more effective sanctions against Russia while promoting an International Monetary Fund aid package for Ukraine, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday at a central bankers’ meeting in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Speaking on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Yellen said the US would be providing an additional $10 billion on top of the over $46 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian assistance Washington has already deployed to Kyiv.
“We very much want to see the IMF negotiate an agreement to lend to Ukraine. The managing director has been clear that it’s a goal that she has to negotiate a full program by the end of March, and it’s something that we will emphasize in our discussions this week,” Yellen said at a press conference.
Securing “continued, robust support for Ukraine will be a major topic of discussion during my time here in India,” Yellen added.
The treasury secretary said the US expects to see tougher sanctions against Russia and condemned Moscow’s “immoral” invasion of Ukraine which started on February 24 last year.
“Russia’s behavior is not only a clear violation of international law and unprovoked, really, but that it’s one of the leading factors shaping the global outlook with respect to food, with respect to energy, and harming the global outlook generally. And that’s certainly something I will emphasize in our meetings here,” the US treasury chief added.
When she was asked whether Russia would be handed fresh economic sanctions, Yellen said that the US was looking to strengthen existing measures and impose new ones with its allies.
The treasury secretary added that she was hopeful that the G20 group would collectively condemn Russia’s actions in a joint statement, as was the case at the last G20 summit in Bali, although India, which currently holds the presidency, has so far been reluctant to openly condemn Moscow and has adopted a neutral position since the conflict began.
New Delhi has in recent months increased imports of Russian oil to record levels after Moscow slashed prices amid global sanctions.
According to Yellen, “we have continued to see emerging markets negotiate steep discounts on Russian oil, which keeps oil on the global market but greatly reduces the Kremlin’s take.” EFE