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US Announces $50Mln Aid Package for Ukraine

© Fotolia / aviavladUS Announces $50Mln Aid Package for Ukraine
US Announces $50Mln Aid Package for Ukraine - Sputnik International
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Washington will provide Ukraine with a new $50 million aid package to help with economic and political reforms, the White House told Reuters during a visit to Kiev by Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday.

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Washington will provide Ukraine with a new $50 million aid package to help with economic and political reforms, the White House told Reuters during a visit to Kiev by Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday.

The United States offered an additional $8 million in non-lethal military assistance, including radios and vehicles, according to a statement issued by Biden's staff in Kiev.

"The United States is committed to ensuring that Ukrainians alone are able to determine their country's future without intimidation or coercion from outside forces," the statement said.

Last week, the US signed a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine in support of its economic recovery.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier called Washington’s offer “worthless,” as there were no banks willing to finance the recovery of crisis-hit Ukraine. Kiev currently owes Moscow some $35.4 billion, which was provided over the last four years as a subsidy via gas discounts. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia hopes Ukraine will fulfill all of its debt obligations.

Moscow made a crucial decision to invest a hefty $15 billion in Ukrainian Eurobonds late last year, disbursing the first tranche of $3 billion in December. Moscow and Kiev also agreed to steeply cut gas prices for Ukraine in an effort to boost the country’s sluggish economy.

The cash injections and discounts were frozen following a coup amid violent protests that led to far-right parties gaining key positions in the new government.

Ukraine went through a regime change on February 22, which saw the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and the rise of Western-backed ultra-nationalistic activists to power in Kiev. Moscow and several regions in Ukraine have not acknowledged the legitimacy of the new authorities and have condemned its nationalistic policies threatening the Russian-speaking population of the country.

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