The U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, on Thursday (Feb. 23), said continued and robust support for Ukraine would be a major topic of discussion during her two-day visit to India.
Ms. Yellan was addressing a media conference at Nandi Hills, off Bengaluru, ahead of the first G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. She also met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the morning. “I’m looking forward to a productive set of meetings in Bengaluru over the next couple of days,’‘ the Treasury Secretary said.
As President Biden has said, the U.S. will stand with Ukraine in its fight – for as long as it takes, she said. It was critical that the IMF moved swiftly toward a fully financed programme for Ukraine, as they have said they would do, she added.
$10 billion additional aid
In the coming months, the U.S. Treasury Secretary said, the United States would provide around $10 billion in additional economic support for Ukraine. This would be in addition to the $46 billion it offered towards security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies were supporting the Ukrainian people’s fight for freedom, and their economic assistance was making Ukraine’s resistance possible by supporting the home front: funding critical public services and helping keep the government running, she said.
“Tomorrow is the one-year mark of Russia’s illegal and unjustified full-scale invasion of Ukraine,’‘ Ms. Yellen said. “When Vladimir Putin launched his brutal assault one year ago, some believed Russia would secure a quick and decisive victory over Kyiv. Putin himself thought that he would achieve a victory ‘at minimal cost’, in the words of CIA Director Bill Burns,” she said.
“One year later, Putin’s war has been a strategic failure for the Kremlin. Ukraine still stands. And NATO and our global coalition stand united behind it,’‘ she stated.
Ukraine has mounted a heroic resistance, and the Ukrainian military’s bravery on the battlefield was evident, she said. “We have seen the steady hand of Ukraine’s economic and finance officials. They have fought to preserve Ukraine’s economic and financial stability under extraordinary circumstances.’‘
“And, of course, we have seen the strength of the Ukrainian people. They are standing strong amid a terrible war,’‘ she pointed out.
According to Ms. Yellen, since the early days of the war, the U.S partnered with a multilateral coalition of over 30 countries to impose severe economic costs on Russia for its brutal assault, with twin goals: to degrade Russia’s military-industrial complex and reduce revenues that it can use to fund its war.
“We are seeing the impact of these actions. The Russian military is struggling to replace over 9,000 pieces of heavy military equipment that it has lost since February 2022. It has suffered production shut-downs at key defense-industrial facilities. Further, Russia’s economy has become increasingly isolated,’‘ she elaborated.
Estimates indicate that nearly a million Russians may have left the country last year. This is putting downward pressure on its productive capacity going forward, she said.