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G-20 likely to discuss Ukraine aid

Kyodo

Group of 20 finance chiefs are expected to discuss financial aid to Ukraine at their meeting later this week, as the country is believed to be teetering on the brink of fiscal collapse, Finance Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday.

His remarks came after the International Monetary Fund late last month reached a staff-level agreement with the government of Ukraine on a standby arrangement of up to $18 billion to help the country out of its economic quagmire.

At the two-day gathering of the G-20 finance ministers and central governors in Washington from Thursday, “We are likely to start by exchanging views on the agreement” between the IMF and Ukraine, Aso said at a news conference.

But Aso added the United States and the European Union are still apart on how to tackle the issue of Russia’s recent annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, making it difficult to anticipate the details of discussions by the G-20.