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Yellen visits Kiev, announces $1.2bn additional aid

Upon her arrival in the capital city on Monday, Yellen said her visit is “to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

During her surprise visit to Kiev, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced the transfer of an additional amount of over $1.2 billion in economic assistance to Ukraine.

Upon her arrival in the capital city on Monday, Yellen said her visit is “to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine, discuss ways we can continue our support, including through economic assistance, and pay tribute to the bravery of the Ukrainian people a year after Russia’s unprovoked invasion”.

In her announcement, she said that the US is proud to be Ukraine’s largest bilateral donor and to date, Washington has provided close to $50 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to the war-torn nation.

“Today, I am proud to announce the transfer of an additional amount of over $1.2 billion. That’s the first tranche of about $10 billion in direct budget support that the US will provide in the coming months,” she was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Treasury Department.

Later in her remarks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky that the country’s “fight is our fight, for our shared values of democracy, the right to self-determination, and for an international order that advances peace and prosperity”.

“We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” she added.

On his part, Zelensky said that the “US has been powerfully supporting us since the first days of this war not only with weapons, but also on the financial front. We really appreciate it”.

“Thank you for systematic steps to increase sanctions pressure on the aggressor state. It is necessary to further strengthen sanctions to deprive Russia of the ability to finance the war,” he added.

Yellen also held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

The Treasury Secretary’s trip comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s trip to Kiev last week.

US criticizes China

Meanwhile, the US criticized Russia and China for not offering “firm condemnation” of the Ukraine conflict at the G20 ministerial meeting of Finance Ministers.

At a US Department of State press briefing, spokesperson Ned Price said, “When it comes to the Peoples’ Republic China (PRC), that’s a question for the PRC – a country that purports to believe in the principle of sovereignty, that purports to believe in the principle of territorial integrity and independence. Why it is not living up to those principles in this context, that’s a question only the PRC can answer.” Price was answering questions on the G20 ministerial meeting of Finance Ministers in India that ended without a consensus on the war in Ukraine.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of where we are. But to your question, what I saw from the foreign – from the finance ministers meeting over the weekend was a G20 that was on the same page, with two notable exceptions: only with the exception of Russia and the PRC. Other countries, as you can see from the statement that emanated from the finance ministers meeting, roundly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. It was only Russia and China that equivocated or that were not in a position to offer that firm condemnation,” said Price.

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