U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday the United States would resume discussions with China on economic issues “at an appropriate time” but is continuing to warn Beijing of the consequences of violating U.S. sanctions on Russia.
At a news conference ahead of a G20 financial leaders meeting in Bengaluru, Janet Yellen said communication between the United States and China was important for “the sake of the entire globe.”
Some engagements between Washington and Beijing have been suspended following the downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that floated over the continental United States, leaving the timing of previously planned visits to China by Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken unclear.
Janet Yellen said she did not have any details on timing of her visit focused on economic and financial issues, but said: “I believe we will resume at an appropriate time those discussions.”
Economic Aid To Ukraine
Janet Yellen stepped up calls for increased financing support to Ukraine to help it battle the year-old Russian invasion as the United States readies an additional $10 billion in economic assistance in coming weeks.
Janet Yellen, speaking in remarks prepared for delivery to a news conference as G20 finance leaders gathered on the outskirts of the Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, said it was critical for the International Monetary Fund to “move swiftly” towards a fully financed loan programme for Ukraine.
“As President Biden has said, we will stand with Ukraine in its fight – for as long as it takes,” she said. “Continued, robust support for Ukraine will be a major topic of discussion during my time here in India.”
Ukraine is seeking a $15 billion multi-year IMF programme, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Monday after meeting IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Kyiv.
Janet Yellen said that previous U.S. military, economic and humanitarian aid totalling $46 billion has allowed Ukraine to preserve economic and financial stability under “extraordinary circumstances.”
“Our economic assistance is making Ukraine’s resistance possible by supporting the home front: funding critical public services and helping keep the government running. In the coming months, we expect to provide around $10 billion in additional economic support for Ukraine.”
The U.S. aid was approved by Congress in December as part of a broad government funding bill that included a new $45 billion package of emergency military and other assistance to the war-torn country.
Janet Yellen in her remarks said the global economy “is in a better place today than many predicted just a few months ago,” with concerns fading that the Ukraine war’ spillovers would cause growth to slow sharply.
She said while headline inflation was beginning to ease in the United States and across the globe, it was important for G20 finance officials to keep working to quell inflation, adding: “We are not out of the woods yet.”
She said price caps imposed by Western countries on Russian crude oil exports and petroleum products were helping to stabilize global energy prices while reducing Russia’s energy revenues “substantially.”
“Last month, the Kremlin’s oil revenue was nearly 60 percent lower than in the immediate aftermath of the invasion,” she said, adding that it was enabling emerging markets, including India, to negotiate steep discounts on Russian oil.
Janet Yellen said that G20 countries need to work to ease the debt overhang that is putting more than half of low-income countries in debt distress.
“I will continue to push for all bilateral official creditors, including China, to participate in meaningful debt treatments for developing countries and emerging markets in distress,” she said, adding that debt treatment for Zambia and financing assurances for Sri Lanka were “most urgent”
The G20 meetings also will be a key venue for working to advance reforms to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to expand their lending to fight climate change, pandemics and other global challenges, she said.
She commended departing World Bank President David Malpass, saying that the bank under his leadership has “measurably improved the lives of people around the world.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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