Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings
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It has been two months to the day since Russia launched its barbaric war against Ukraine.
This is not just an attack on Ukraine. This is an attack on international law, including the UN Charter, as well as democracy, freedom, and human rights.
Let me be very clear: Russia is committing war crimes right now, even as we are sitting here in our embassy in Washington. In addition to causing widespread destruction and death, Putin’s war is having a profound impact on the global economy. Putin’s war is causing food prices to rise. His war is causing energy prices to rise. It is driving inflation higher, worldwide.
The economic consequences of Putin’s war are hitting the most vulnerable around the world the hardest.
Over the past few days, I have been speaking with international counterparts about how we can all take further action to support Ukraine—and to raise the cost of Russia's aggression. Putin and his henchmen must feel the consequences of their illegal and barbaric war.
Canada is glad to have taken a leading role in establishing an Administered Account for Ukraine at the IMF earlier this month, providing donors with a secure vehicle to direct financial assistance to the Ukrainian government. Canada has now proposed to offer 1 billion Canadian dollars in support through the Administered Account—we announced that in our recent budget.
Together with this latest contribution, Canada has now offered up to $1.6 billion dollars in loans directly to the Ukrainian government, to help Ukraine and the Ukrainian government continue to operate in the face of this illegal war. We have also contributed more than $900 million in military aid, including $500 million announced in our recent budget.
In partnership with our allies, Canada has formed the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Taskforce and committed federal resources to work with our partners, both foreign and domestic, to target the assets and ill-gotten gains of Russia’s elites and those who act on their behalf. We are also working to formalize the ability of the Canadian government to cause the forfeiture and disposal of assets held by sanctioned individuals and entities.
Winning the war, and, after that, rebuilding Ukraine, will be an immense task. This will be perhaps the greatest political undertaking of this decade for all rules-based democracies. Canada will play its part.
In addition to the grave challenge posed by Russia’s war on Ukraine, I had the chance this week to talk with my colleagues about the importance of continuing to help the world’s most vulnerable countries recover from the COVID pandemic.
Canada announced this week that we will provide $2.4 billion in new loan commitments and a $40 million grant to the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust. This is in addition to Canada’s previous contribution of $984 million to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust. These contributions, together with our support for Ukraine through the IMF Administered Account, mean that Canada has now exceeded our commitment to channel 20 per cent of our SDRs [Special Drawing Rights].
Specifically this week, I have attended:
- The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meetings;
- The G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meetings;
- International Monetary and Financial Committee meetings;
- The Financial Action Task Force Ministerial meeting; and
- The World Bank ministerial roundtable on support to Ukraine, which I attended together with my colleague, Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan.
I also had a number of bilateral meetings with:
- The United States Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen;
- Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner;
- The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag;
- Sweden’s Minister of Finance, Mikael Damberg;
- First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy for Spain, Nadia Calviño;
- The Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis;
- The Secretary-General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann;
- The President of the World Bank, David Malpass;
- The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal; and, of course,
- Ukraine’s Finance Minister, who is here with us today at the Canadian Embassy, Sergii Marchenko.
Sergii will speak next, but before he does and with his permission, I wanted to share something personal about him.
Sergii comes from the town of Makariv, which is a small town to the west of Kyiv. Makariv was part of the regions around Kyiv that were occupied by Russia during the effort to conquer Kyiv. The apartment where Sergii was born has been destroyed. His family home, the home of his late grandfather, was destroyed.
His family was there during the occupation, and they know personally what it’s like. It really affected me to hear Sergii, who is the Finance Minister of Ukraine, talk to me about that. But he did tell me that his parents are now back in their village home, and they are planting potatoes, because that is what you do in April in Ukraine.
I hand it over to Sergii Marchenko, the Finance Minister of Ukraine.
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