G20 ministers 'alert to economic risks' in Ukraine

Friday 11 April 2014 18.05
The draft statement confirmed there were tensions between leading G20 powers over the Ukraine crisis
The draft statement confirmed there were tensions between leading G20 powers over the Ukraine crisis

Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs meeting in Washington have said they are alert to economic risks from the Ukraine crisis, according to a draft statement.

"We are monitoring the economic situation in Ukraine, mindful of any risks to economic and financial stability," said the draft, seen by AFP.

The draft, a nearly-complete version of the group's final statement to be released later, confirmed that tensions over Ukraine are causing a stir in the leading 20 powers, which include the United States, Europe's major countries and Russia.

The group praised the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for leading the economic rescue of the country.

The IMF, the World Bank, the United States and the European Union have pledged some $27 billion to shore up the Ukrainian economy, but threatening posturing by Russia on the country's eastern border has raised the risks for that plan.

The G20 officials also said they were committed to strengthening growth around the world, amid IMF warnings of risks from various sources, including policy tightening in the US, deflation in Europe, financial system worries in China and policy challenges in emerging countries.

The G20 "remain vigilant in the face of important global risks and vulnerabilities," the draft said.

"We are determined to manage these risks and take actions to further strengthen the recovery, create jobs and improve medium-term growth prospects."

The G20 has also pressed the United States  to ratify crucial IMF reforms after four years of waiting, suggesting they would find an alternative if Washington does not deliver by year-end.

"We are deeply disappointed with the continued delay in progressing the IMF quota and governance reforms.... We urge the US to ratify these reforms at the earliest opportunity," the group said.