The Group of 20 leading economic powers has said that it is closely monitoring the situation in crisis-stricken Ukraine. At the same time, it has called on the US to ratify reforms to the International Monetary Fund.
The final communique released following a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Washington on Friday, said the International Monetary Fund and World Bank were best-placed to assist the new authorities in Ukraine.
“We are monitoring the economic situation in Ukraine, mindful of any risk to economic and financial stability, and welcome the IMF’s recent engagement with Ukraine as the authorities work to undertake meaningful reforms,” the statement said.
“The situation in Ukraine highlights the important role of the IMF as the world’s first responder to financial crises,” it added.
Ukraine has been in political and economic turmoil since February, when pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovich fled the country in the face of mass protests against his rule. Russia later took control of Ukraine’s Crimea region and there are fears about possible further moves by Moscow.
The communique, though, did not specifically mention Russia and earlier in the day, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble stressed need to work with the Kremlin to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.
“We were all agreed that we must solve this problem together,” Schäuble said, adding that “we don’t want to make this difficult for Russia.”
An unnamed source cited by the Reuters news agency expressed a similar sentiment, saying the finance ministers and central bankers had not discussed imposing fresh economic sanctions on Russia. The US and European Union have already imposed sanctions on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.
Pressure on the US over reforms
The G20 also called on the United States to ratify reforms to the IMF, which were agreed four years ago.
“We are deeply disappointed with the continued delay in progressing the IMF quota and governance reforms” agreed in 2010, the statement said. “The implementation of the 2010 reforms remains our highest priority and we urge the US to ratify these reforms at the earliest opportunity,” it added.
The reforms, agreed in 2010, include an increase in funding of the IMF and stronger roles for emerging economies in the organization.
pfd/dr (Reuters, AFP)