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UPDATE 1-Yellen, Canada's Freeland present united front on Ukraine, economic challenges

·2 min read

(Changes dateline, adds quotes from start of bilateral meeting)

By David Lawder

TORONTO, June 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Monday, pledging cooperation on issues ranging from sanctions against Russia to increasing energy production and strengthening supply chains.

The Treasury said that Yellen during the visit will highlight strong economic ties between the two North American allies, visiting a business incubator and participating in a public forum at the University of Toronto.

"I am very much looking forward to discussing with Secretary Yellen the shared economic challenges that both of our countries face," Freeland said as the two finance ministers began a bilateral meeting.

Issues include strengthening sanctions against Russia and pushing forward with global tax reform, Freeland said.

"We can also work together to boost production of energy that European and other countries very much need," Yellen said, adding that they would also discuss medium-term plans to transition to cleaner energy sources.

The two finance ministers will discuss efforts to reduce inflation, the Treasury said in a statement.

"They'll also discuss joint efforts to mitigate the global consequences being felt because of Russia's aggression, including the need to boost production of fossil fuels in the short term to address high gas and energy costs, and reiterate the importance of adopting clean energy technologies that break our dependence over the medium-term," Treasury said.

The visit is the first to Canada for Yellen as Treasury secretary. On Tuesday, Yellen will visit the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota to discuss the impact of $20 billion in funding for tribal communities made available in last year's American Rescue Plan COVID-19 aid legislation. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sam Holmes and Richard Pullin)