WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In January, the US Treasury initially announced that it would provide $2 billion to Ukraine in 2015 should Kiev implement the reform program it agreed to with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This comes in addition to the $1 billion loan guarantee the United States provided to Ukraine in May 2014.
In March, the IMF endorsed a four-year financial assistance package for Ukraine amounting to $17.5 billion to stabilize the economic situation in the country in exchange for Kiev's commitment to implement deep political, social and financial reforms.
“In total, we have provided $470 million in economic assistance [to Ukraine] since the start of the crisis,” Biden said. “In addition, a $1 billion loan guarantee last year, another $1 billion loan guarantee signed this month. And, potentially, another $1 billion at the end of this year if Ukraine continues on the path of reform.”
Washington would provide the additional billion dollar loan guarantee, Biden explained, after Kiev has implemented reform laws and has done everything possible to stymie the influence of oligarchs on Ukraine’s government policy.
“Ukraine needs to use all the tools at its disposal to limit the ability of the oligarchs to abuse their market position or exert pressure on government officials.”
Ukrainian oligarchs involvement with the government came into spotlight after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, when acting President Oleksandr Turchynov appointed Ihor Kolomoiskyi, who has reportedly accumulated around $6 billion, to the position of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Governor.
Kolomoiskyi is believed to be a sponsor of some Ukrainian armed groups, including volunteer battalions that have violated human rights in the southeast of the country, where they have been fighting against independence supporters alongside the Kiev government forces.
In March 2015, Kolomoiskyi was dismissed, however, by current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Biden also noted that $200 million of the economic assistance to Ukraine has come in the form of defensive weapons, and emphasized the fact that Kiev is in desperate need of fundamental military training.
On Saturday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would not restructure the loans Moscow issued to Ukraine. The $3-billion Ukrainian Eurobond issue bought by Russia in late 2013 must be repaid by the end of 2015.