US asks European partners for more financial support for Ukraine | International

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, left, received by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, left, received by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday.Olivier Matthys (AP)

Ukraine needs financial and economic support to continue defending itself from the Russian invasion. The United States is processing a support of 40,000 million dollars (about 38,000 million euros) in Congress and the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has urged her European partners to follow her in that effort. “I sincerely ask our partners to increase their economic support to Ukraine. Our joint efforts are critical to help Ukrainian democracy prevail over Putin’s aggression”, Yellen claimed this Tuesday in Brussels, where she has come to deliver a speech at the Brussels Economic Forum.

The kyiv Executive needs money, mainly, to maintain the war effort against the Russian army. But it also needs it so that the administrative machinery of the State can continue to function and offer services to its citizens, so that they are not attracted by those that Moscow can provide in the areas it already controls. One of those services that it must continue to provide is, for example, the payment of pensions, and this is what the president himself, Volodímir Zelenski, has said, who has received numerous visits in kyiv since diplomatic activity has returned to the Ukrainian capital, according to last week one of the senior EU officials who has met with him in recent weeks.

And Yellen, who has not been in kyiv -but other members of the Joe Biden Administration (Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin)- has expressed herself in this direction, when she pointed out that this money would be used to “pay the soldiers, the employees [públicos]the pensioners…”.

Before the war began, on February 1 the EU already approved financial support of 1.2 billion euros, which was finally transferred in two payments of 600 million on March 11 and 18. To this must be added, at least, 1,000 million euros from Brussels to pay for the shipment of weapons by member states, which may also have sent war material outside that financing line, which will grow by another 500 million soon. In addition, there is the money allocated to assistance to refugees from the war, at least 3,500 million euros, an item that is already insufficient, according to the countries that receive the most displaced people, mainly Poland. In addition, Brussels has also used funds from the Erasmus + program to pay for the schooling of minors arriving from Ukraine.

In this scenario, Yellen has called on the transatlantic partners to make a greater effort both now and in the future; that is, in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. At that time, the effort demanded by the US Administration is similar to that made in Europe after the Second World War.

Together with the claim for financial assistance to Ukraine, the head of the US economy has also asked the European partners to speed up the agreement on the minimum rate of 15% in corporate tax. It has been more than half a year since 137 countries signed an agreement promoted by the OECD to set a floor for this tax for corporations. The European Commission quickly approved a directive that transposed that pact, but the text is stuck in the Council due to the blockade of Poland, which vetoed the approval at the last meeting of Ecofin, the body that brings together the EU finance ministers , last April.

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