Ukrainian Prime Minister and finance officials visit Washington

Washington: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and senior Ukrainian finance officials will visit Washington next week for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, sources close to the project said on Friday.

Shmyhal, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko and Central Bank Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko are due to meet bilaterally with finance officials from the Group of Seven countries and others, and participate in a roundtable on Ukraine to be hosted by the World Bank on Thursday, the sources said. .

Thursday’s event will be the first opportunity for top Ukrainian officials to meet in person with a host of finance officials from advanced economies since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine is set to dominate next week’s meetings of top economic officials from World Bank and IMF member countries, as well as the G7 and G20, with the IMF set to revise to lowering its global growth forecasts as a result of the war. .

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent troops to Ukraine in what he calls a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine.

kyiv and its Western allies say these are bogus justifications for an unprovoked war of aggression that has driven a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes and resulted in the deaths of thousands.

Thursday’s meeting will be more of a roundtable than a donors’ conference, although the IMF and World Bank have set up separate accounts to be able to process and relay donations, and additional pledges are expected to be announced this week. next.

It will give officials an opportunity to discuss the physical devastation and economic consequences of the war, as well as the continued functioning of Ukraine’s banking and financial sector.

“Without support now, there will be no reconstruction in the future,” one of the sources said.

The World Bank had no immediate comment on the event.

World Bank President David Malpass told an event in Warsaw this week that the bank was preparing a $1.5 billion support package for Ukraine.

The IMF board last week approved the creation of a new account offering bilateral donors and international groups a safe way to send financial resources to Ukraine.

Canada, a major supporter of Ukraine, has offered to disburse up to C$1 billion through the new account, which will be administered by the IMF.

The account will allow donors to provide grants and loans to help the Ukrainian government meet its balance of payments and fiscal needs and stabilize its economy as it continues to defend against the deadly invasion of Russia.

Marchenko said last week that his government was seeking about 4 billion euros (15.9 billion dirhams) in foreign funding on top of the roughly 3 billion euros it has already received to tackle a budget shortfall.

Mary I. Bruner