G-7 to unveil major Ukraine aid plan to help offset costs of Russia’s invasion

BONN, Germany — The financial leaders of the “Group of 7” nations are expected to unveil a major new economic aid package as soon as Wednesday to help the Ukrainian government offset the costs of Russia’s invasion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Global officials have discussed providing as much as $15 billion in aid to the Ukrainians to cover financial damages caused by the war, though the final details of the measure are still being worked out, they said, speaking under condition of anonymity to discuss planning not yet made public.

Ukrainian officials estimate they currently face a monthly deficit of roughly $5 billion. The aid would be intended to cover the Ukrainian deficit for three months — amounting to short-term economic assistance, as world leaders have signaled a much bigger long-term recovery package may be necessary.

The assistance package could be provided through a mix of partners, including the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund.

Congress is currently on track to approve roughly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine following a request from the Biden administration, although that funding includes military assistance. Ukrainian leaders attending the “Group of 20” last month asked for $5 billion per month in economic assistance alone, including about $2 billion per month from the United States.

Ukraine has sustained more than $94 billion in direct damage to its infrastructure since the war began, with more than $550 billion in total economic losses, according to researchers with the Kyiv School of Economics.

About three dozen countries have already provided Ukraine with assistance totaling $24 billion, according to estimates by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think-tank. A $15 billion aid package would amount to a substantial increase to that sum.

Ukrainian officials have said failure to provide additional international aid would exacerbate a devastating humanitarian crisis, pointing to their inability to make scheduled government payments and repair necessary infrastructure.

“Our economy is partly destroyed,” said Sergey Nikiforov, a spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an interview. “Our export capacity and steel plants are destroyed and we have this huge deficit monthly … Tax and customs revenues are not nearly as high as they were before the war.” Nikiforov also emphasized that more than 12 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the war, either internally or externally.

The G-7 financial ministers set to gather in Bonn this week face enormous challenges as they try to increase financial pressure on Russia over its invasion even amid escalating economic headwinds in their own countries. Aside from the U.S., Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany have made the largest contributions thus far, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington think-tank.

In a speech in Brussels on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pleaded with European allies to provide more aid to the Ukrainain government.

“I sincerely ask all our partners to join us in increasing their financial support to Ukraine,” Yellen said, according to a transcript of her prepared remarks. “Our joint efforts are critical to help ensure Ukraine’s democracy prevails over Putin’s aggression.”

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