• Kyodo

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The Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors met Thursday in Washington to discuss the need for financial aid in crisis-hit Ukraine and the possibility of additional sanctions against Russia.

The discussions “covered the major and recent developments in the global economy and issues which form part of the wider meeting taking place this week,” the G-7 financial chiefs said in a statement.

“This included a discussion of the situation in Ukraine, its financing needs and the international response,” they added.

Ukraine faces financial problems following recent political turmoil, including the ouster of its former president and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Finance Minister Taro Aso declined to elaborate on what was discussed in the G-7 meeting.

A Japanese delegation source indicated, however, that the possibility of additional sanctions against Russia if the Ukraine crisis escalates was one of the topics.

The financial chiefs of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States gathered ahead of a two-day meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors and a series of events related to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the U.S. capital.

In the statement, the G-7 finance chiefs also mourned Jim Flaherty, a former Canadian finance minister who died Thursday.

The G-7 leaders effectively expelled Russia from the framework of major nations in their meeting in The Hague last month to protest its annexation of Crimea, southern Ukraine, and will meet again in June in Brussels.

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