Brussels — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged European countries to spend more to support Ukraine on Tuesday as attacks on Russia’s critical infrastructure showed little sign of diminishing.
The United States and Europe have been working closely to implement drastic sanctions against Russia about three months after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion. However, they do not agree much about the need to support Ukraine’s economy and help rebuild Ukraine after the end of the war.
Parliament has already approved a $ 13.6 billion emergency spending package for Ukraine and will approve an additional $ 40 billion worth of aid. The European Union and the multilateral financial institutions are also providing large amounts of aid, but Yellen said he had to do more.
“I sincerely ask all partners to join us to increase financial support for Ukraine,” Yellen said in a speech at the Brussels Economic Forum, according to a prepared statement. .. “Our joint efforts are important to help ensure that Ukrainian democracy wins Putin’s invasion.”
The Treasury Secretary is in the midst of a week-long trip to Europe and will stop in Warsaw, Brussels and Bonn, Germany, to meet with his counterparts at a summit of seven finance ministers. Assistance to Ukraine is expected to be a central topic of the conference.
Mr Yellen said Ukraine’s financial needs are imminent and there is a shortage of funds to pay soldiers, pensioners and employees to keep the government running.
“The obvious thing is that the bilateral and multilateral assistance announced so far is not enough to meet the needs of Ukraine in the short term,” she said.
I still don’t know if I will listen to her call. European countries are facing their own economic tensions, such as rapid inflation and soaring energy costs, and a major challenge awaits Russia’s departure from energy.
Yellen said it would help the United States break Europe’s dependence on Russia’s energy by increasing US exports of liquefied natural gas, in part. She acknowledged that some climate goals to reduce emissions could be set back by the need to rely on coal and fossil fuels, but the current plight is “clean and renewable energy.” It should remind us of the need to “double our efforts on.”
Energy is another major issue that policy makers will discuss at the Seven Finance Ministers’ Summit in Bonn later this week. The United States is expected to pressure the European Union to consider alternative options ahead of plans to phase out Russia’s oil embargo by the end of the year.
Treasury officials hope on Tuesday to consider pricing mechanisms such as caps and tariffs that will eat up much of Russia’s oil profits, while giving Russia ample incentive to continue production. Said.
Russia-Ukraine War: Significant Progress
In Mariupol. The bloodiest battle of the war in Ukraine ended in Mariupol as Ukrainian troops ordered the fighters to be trapped in a steel factory in the city and surrendered. Ukraine’s decision to end the battle allowed Moscow to completely control the vast cleanup of southern Ukraine, which stretches from the Russian border to Crimea.
Treasury officials refused to share estimates of how the embargo would affect oil prices, but curbing global oil supplies prices when inflation is already hot. Said that there was a risk of a surge.
In his speech, Yellen said Russia’s decision to cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria should be a lesson that Western countries should not exchange national security for cheaper resources. .. Such circumstances leave them vulnerable to countries that can use their abundant natural resources to disrupt markets.
She raised China as a concern in that regard for the supply of rare earth minerals used in the manufacture of airplanes, automobiles and high-tech batteries.
“China has gained market share as a result of certain technology products and is seeking a dominant position in the manufacture and use of semiconductors,” Yellen said. “And China has adopted various unfair trade practices in its efforts to achieve this position.”
Still, Yellen made it clear that he was not seeking a reversal of protectionism or globalization. Instead, when it comes to international trade, she said countries shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket.
“My point is to suggest that we need to consider ways to maintain free trade and at the same time mitigate some of these risks,” she said.