An unexpected visit to Kyiv by the US Treasury Secretary. Last Minute EUROPE, ECONOMY, CURRENT, Russian news, news headlines and events


US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made a surprise visit to Kyiv, reiterating US support for Ukraine in the face of Russian occupation.

Yellen met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other key government officials, reaffirming the support the US provided a week ago during President Joe Biden’s visit.

At their afternoon meeting, Yellen said she congratulated Zelensky on Russia’s “leadership and determination in the face of its illegal and unjustified war.”

Yellen welcomes Zelensky’s strong leadership and anti-corruption efforts, the US Treasury Department said in a statement. The Ukrainian government’s anti-corruption efforts are important to the US to ensure that its economic aid is used responsibly.

Zelenskiy, on the other hand, said in a Telegram statement: “The US has supported us since the first day of this war. Not only in weapons, but also in the financial sector.”

“Strengthening sanctions is necessary so that Russia does not cover the costs of the war,” Zelensky said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shimal said he and Yellen discussed additional sanctions against Russia, including the confiscation of frozen Russian assets for use in rebuilding Ukraine.

But Yellen told reporters by phone that there are some legal hurdles to a total confiscation of $300 billion worth of Russian central bank assets, and she is wary of any new hurdles for Russia’s nuclear energy sector.

Yellen also announced that the first part of Washington’s $9 billion 900 million economic and budgetary support, $1 billion 250 million, has been transferred.

Yellen’s visit comes a week after President Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv promising $500 million in additional military aid. Days after Biden’s visit, the United States announced new sanctions on Russia, including measures effectively banning Russian aluminum imports.

Like Biden, Yellen’s visit was kept secret until she left Kyiv. Only meetings with consultants and staff were included in the daily schedule.

Shortly after his arrival in the capital Kyiv, air raid sirens sounded in case of a possible attack on the city.

On a cold Kyiv morning, Yellen laid a wreath at the memorial wall in memory of the soldiers who died in the war, and said: “I see with my own eyes the horrific victims of Putin’s brutal war.”

Yellen, who saw a downed Russian tank and fragments of mobile artillery shells in the area of ​​​​the city square, from where visitors were taken, met with emergency services.

Yellen has just returned to Washington from the G20 Finance Ministers Summit in Bangalore, India, ahead of her visit to Kyiv. There, he called for increased economic aid to Ukraine and forced G20 leaders to denounce the Russian invasion.

Since the start of the war, the United States has provided more than $13 billion in economic and budgetary support to Ukraine. The final aid will increase this amount to $14 billion. An additional $8.65 billion is expected to be sent on September 20th.

Yellen said the economic aid would allow the Ukrainian government to maintain vital public services, keep schools open, pay salaries and provide the stability needed to sustain a strong resistance.

Speaking at the Obolon 168 school in Kiev, where the salaries of teachers, principals and staff are funded by the US budget, Yellen said that the continuation of hostilities would be impossible without an effective government.

Ukraine is believed to need between $40 billion and $57 billion in external support to support its economy. To partially close the gap, Kyiv is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a loan of $15.5 billion.

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