Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was unable to attend economic meetings of the G20 in Moscow this week due to illness.

Kathleen Perchaluk, a spokesperson for the minister, says Flaherty fell ill after arriving in Moscow before the Friday and Saturday meetings to discuss ways to get the global economy back on a solid growth path.

She says the minister may have been struck by a stomach ailment, but was not hospitalized.

In an interview, she added the illness was not connected to the minister's serious and rare skin condition, which requires him to take a steroid medication with side effects that makes him appear bloated and red.

The news of Flaherty's illness was revealed during a pre-scheduled Saturday morning teleconference with Canadian journalists, which the minister was unable to conduct.

He was replaced by associate deputy minister Jean Boivin, along with Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.