U.S. rolls out aid to Ukraine, Putin assures no war

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The White House on Tuesday revealed that the U.S. is providing financial and technical assistance to Ukraine’s new government as Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that Russia is not going to war with the Ukrainians.

“The United States will work with its bilateral and multilateral partners to ensure that Ukraine has sufficient financing to restore financial stability and return to growth,” the White House said in a statement.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is in Kiev as requested by the Ukrainian government to work out a large-scale financing program for the country while the U.S. will provide support in the form of $1 billion in loan guarantees aimed at helping insulate vulnerable Ukrainians from the effects of reduced energy subsidies.

The White House said the U.S. is dispatching highly experienced technical advisors to help the Ukrainian financial authorities manage immediate market pressures and help Ukraine implement critical energy sector reforms.

The U.S. also will provide technical assistance to help Ukraine conduct elections along international standards, recover stolen government assets, reduce corruption, increase government transparency in procurement and find new export markets for Ukrainian businesses.

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev Tuesday to emphasize Washington’s support to Kiev. Kerry will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine’s new government, leaders of the Rada or parliament, and members of civil society.

“The Secretary will reaffirm the United States’ strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation,” the Department of State said in a press release.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama rejected Putin’s grounds for military intervention in Crimea and called Moscow’s action a violation of international law.

Speaking with reporters at an elementary school in Washington where he introduced his new federal budget, Obama said Russia does not have the right to use force to protect ethnic Russians in Crimea.

Obama was referring to reports that Russian troops entered the Crimea region of Ukraine last week after the pro-Russian president of Ukraine fled office in the face of massive and violent street protests against the government.

In his first public statement since the Crimea crisis began, Putin said Russia is not planning to go to war with the Ukrainian people, but its troops will prevent targeting of Ukrainian civilians by radicals.

Putin denied that the uniformed armed people without insignia in Crimea are Russian soldiers. He said they are members of the Crimean self-defense forces, according to Russia Today.

Putin also denied that the surprise military drills in Russia’s west which ended on Tuesday had nothing to do with the Ukrainian situation.

Putin considers the new government in Kiev as illegitimate and the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych as a coup.

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