Germany's Lindner: Ukraine can rely on G7 finance support in times of war

  • G7 has assured Ukraine of continued support - German finmin
  • Lindner urges more systematic approach to aid for Ukraine
  • Denies Germany holding back on aid disbursement

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations have assured Ukrainian officials that they will continue to provide financial support for Ukraine as it battles invading Russian forces, Germany's finance minister said on Thursday.

The reconstruction of Ukraine will require joint efforts from international financial institutions, the G7, the United States and others, Christian Lindner told a news conference in Washington on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

"The G7 yesterday assured (Ukrainian Finance Minister) Serhiy Marchenko of our support so that they will able to make reliable plans," Lindner said.

Lindner said existing pledges covered Ukraine's financial needs for this year, as reported by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday, and said there was enough time to mobilize resources for 2023. read more

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told donors on Wednesday that Ukraine needed $55 billion in external support next year to cover its budget needs and start to rebuild critical infrastructure such as schools.

SYSTEMATIC APPROACH

Lindner said it made sense to adopt a more systematic approach to Ukraine than ad hoc donor conferences. This would allow for disbursement of aid on a quarterly basis, while easing pressure on Ukrainian officials to keep asking donors for funds.

Georgieva said the IMF was working on a "Ukraine Economic Forum" suggested by Zelenskiy to share information and coordinate on financing needs and macroeconomic developments.

Germany will host a European Union recovery conference for Ukraine in Berlin on Oct. 25 aimed at looking at future reconstruction needs, though Lindner said this would require the involvement of other players including the United States.

Lindner rejected criticism voiced by some international officials that Germany was holding back disbursement of 9 billion euros in EU macroeconomic aid promised for Ukraine, and said he supported full disbursement of that sum.

He noted that Germany alone had already provided 1 billion euros in bilateral aid to Ukraine and that money had been delivered - not just pledged.

Asked about comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging donors to make good their pledges, Lindner later told Reuters he believed those comments were aimed at assuring U.S. lawmakers that Washington was pushing others to do their part, and averting any moves to reduce U.S. support.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal, writing by Andrea Shalal and Kirsti Knolle Editing by Paul Carrel and Gareth Jones

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