January 26, 2023 at 18:29 JST
A Ukrainian military helicopter is see in the Donbas region, Ukraine, on Jan. 25. (Reuters Photo)
Japan, as this year’s G-7 chair, expects Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to dominate talks this year among the world’s major advanced economies, its top finance diplomat, Masato Kanda, told Reuters.
“Sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine will be a top priority at G-7 finance track under Japan’s chair,” Kanda, who will oversee deputy-level negotiations on economic policy among the Group of Seven (G-7) nations this year, said in an interview.
Among other issues at the top of the G-7 agenda would be global debt problems, he said.
While aggressive U.S. interest rate increases last year weighed on emerging market dollar-denominated debt, middle-income countries have been left without an international arrangement to address the debt crisis.
“Japan is closely coordinating with international organs such as Paris club or IMF in order to ensure participating of non-Paris Club members such as China and India,” Kanda said late on Wednesday.
“It is desirable to work with these non-Paris Club countries in the same way with the Common Framework,” he said, referring to a Group of 20 mechanism designed to provide a swift and comprehensive debt overhaul to nations buckling under debt burdens after the COVID-19 shock.
“If this realized, it would pave the way for other middle-income countries to carry out with debt restructuring.”
Kanda said crisis-hit Sri Lanka was a key issue when it came to helping countries in debt but he was not sure when creditors aiming to extend it loans would meet.
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