G7 finance chiefs reaffirm 'unwavering support' for Ukraine

Finance chiefs and central bank governors from the Group of Seven nations have reaffirmed their "unwavering support" for Ukraine, and their unity in condemning Russia's invasion.

The officials released a statement after their meeting in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru on Thursday, the eve of the first anniversary of the start of the invasion. They were joined by Ukraine's Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko.

The statement calls the invasion an "illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine."

It says the finance leaders have increased this year's commitment of budgetary and economic support for Ukraine to 39 billion dollars. This includes 5.5 billion dollars in additional aid from Japan.

The statement says the "significant commitments and their swift disbursement" will enable the Ukrainian authorities to "carry out the most critical repairs of damaged infrastructure," and to stabilize the economy and defend their country.

It says coordinated economic sanctions imposed by the G7 nations against Russia "have significantly undermined" the country's capacity to wage its war.

The statement adds that the finance leaders will continue to closely monitor the effectiveness of the sanctions, and take further actions as needed.

It says the prolonged invasion "has exacerbated global economic challenges," adding to inflationary pressures, disrupting supply chains, and heightening energy and food insecurity.

It says nations must remain vigilant of further downside risks, including inflationary pressures and capital outflows especially from developing countries.

The meeting was chaired by Japan, which holds this year's G7 presidency.

Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi told a news conference that his Ukrainian counterpart had noted his country's severe fiscal situation during the meeting.

Suzuki said he was convinced that Japan, as G7 chair, should help ease Ukraine's fiscal difficulty.

The meeting was held one day before finance and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 economies open their talks in Bengaluru.