G-7 countries ready to aid Ukraine
Washington: Amidst raging tension, the group of seven rich economies (G-7) has committed itself to Ukraine's economic assistance and revival as long as Kiev agreed to pursue economic reforms sought by the IMF.
People take part during a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014. Pic: AFP
In a statement, G-7 countries welcomed the decision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to send a team to Ukraine this week to begin technical and policy discussions with the Ukrainian authorities.
"IMF support will be critical in unlocking additional assistance from the World Bank, other international financial institutions, the EU, and bilateral sources," it said.
"We are also committed to mobilize rapid technical assistance to support Ukraine in addressing its macroeconomic, regulatory, and anti-corruption challenges. We welcome the participation of other concerned members of the international community," G-7 joint statement said.
Noting that they are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine, G-7 said the transition to a new government in Ukraine offers a unique opportunity to put in place urgently needed market-oriented reforms that will restore financial stability, unleash economic potential, and allow Ukraine's people to better achieve their economic aspirations.
"We are united in our commitment to provide strong financial backing to Ukraine. In particular, we agree that the International Monetary Fund remains the institution best prepared to help Ukraine address its immediate economic challenges through policy advice and financing, conditioned on needed reforms," G-7 said in its joint statement.
Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew spoke with British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and French Minister of Finance Pierre Moscovici in separate phone calls about situation in Ukraine.
"Lew emphasized that the US is prepared to work with its bilateral and multilateral partners to provide as much support as Ukraine needs to restore financial stability and return to economic growth, if the new Ukrainian government implements the necessary reforms," a Treasury official said.
"They agreed that an IMF programme should be the centerpiece of the government's reform efforts, and Secretary Lew said the US intends to provide assistance to facilitate successful reform implementation and to cushion the impact of needed economic adjustment on vulnerable Ukrainians," the official said.
Lew also discussed the possibility of sanctions and other steps to address the situation in Ukraine, the official said.