White House announces aid for Ukraine

McClatchy Washington BureauMarch 4, 2014 

WORLD NEWS UKRAINE 9 ABA

Protesters gather outside the White House to call on the U.S. and European Union to do more to combat Russian aggression in Ukraine's Crimea on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

OLIVIER DOULIERY — MCT

The White House announced an aid package to embattled Ukraine on Tuesday, including $1 billion in loan guarantees to help the country withstand the effect of any reduced energy subsidies from Russia.

It said it will also send a team of experts to the country to help recover stolen assets.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement that the administration has been working with international partners to develop an assistance package to provide "rapid financial and technical assistance" to help Ukraine restore economic stability and hold elections.

"The new Ukrainian government has inherited an economy with enormous potential but that is currently financially fragile and uncompetitive," the statement said.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the U.S. aid package focuses on Ukraine’s four most pressing needs: "implementing critical economic reforms and cushioning their impact on vulnerable Ukrainians; conducting free, fair and inclusive elections, with robust involvement by a strong and independent civil society and media; combatting corruption and recovering stolen assets; and withstanding politically motivated trade actions by Russia."

The White House noted the International Monetary Fund is currently in Kyiv working with the Ukrainian government and that it will be responsible for large-scale financing and technical support. The White House says it working with Congress to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees aimed at helping Ukrainians cope with the effects of reduced energy subsidies. Its also providing technical expertise to the National Bank of Ukraine and the Ministry of Finance.

The U.S. will also provide technical assistance to train election observers, the White House said, and is preparing to help the government combat corruption and recover stolen assets. An interagency team of experts is being dispatched to Kyiv this week to begin working with Ukrainians to identify assets that may have been stolen and assist in returning those assets to Ukraine.

 

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