4 March 2014, 22:19

US to extend $1 billion loan to Ukraine, wants to defuse tensions - Kerry

US to extend $1 billion loan to Ukraine, wants to defuse tensions - Kerry

Washington does not want to be in confrontation with anyone over the events in Ukraine and is calling for tensions to be reduced, the United States' Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday. Kerry says the United States will allot at least a $1 billion loan to Ukraine. Speaking at a press conference in Kiev on Tuesday, Kerry said the US is working on support for Ukraine as much as it can and is trying to determine Kiev's needs.

The US has guaranteed at least $1 billion loan for Ukraine, he said. US President Barack Obama has issued instructions to find all possible ways to render direct economic assistance to Ukraine, Kerry said.

The US Congress is ready to make decisions aimed at economic support for Ukraine, and Obama has asked the Congress to develop an economic assistance package for Ukraine, which should be done immediately, as this assistance cannot be delayed, he said.

The US is also working closely with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to draw up an assistance package for Ukraine to ensure its economic stability, Kerry said. The US is also rendering expert assistance to Ukraine to support its economy on the way of its restoration, he said.

Washington does not want to be in confrontation with anyone over the events in Ukraine and is calling for tensions to be reduced, the United States' Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

"I want to make it clear: we do not want a confrontation. The US only wants a de-escalation of the situation, he told a press conference in Kyiv broadcast on US television. The crisis in Ukraine must be solved through diplomacy and dialogue, he said. Russia has the legitimate right to defend its interests related with Ukraine but it should do so through specialized international organizations", Kerry said.

The legitimate interests related with Ukraine should be defended through the UN SC (United Nations Security Council), the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and many other organizations set up precisely for resolving similar problems, he said.

If Russia wants to help the Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine, we are ready to help it in this. But to that end Russia should work with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities, the US secretary of state said.

Meanwhile, the Russian President said earlier on Tuesday in response to criticism of Russia's actions that Western countries' actions are not always legitimate.

"We are often accused of taking illegitimate actions. And when I ask if they think [their actions] are totally legitimate, they say yes. They have to be reminded about the US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya," Putin told reporters on Tuesday.

Western troops acted in those countries "either without any authorization from the UN Security Council or distorted the meaning of its resolutions," he noted.

"Our partners, especially in the United States, have always been formulating their geopolitical and state interests coherently and clearly, pursuing these interests in a steadfast manner, and adjusting the rest of the world to their [interests] according to the famous wording "those who are not with us are against us"," Putin said.

"We proceed from a different premise. We proceed from [the premise of] acting in a legitimate way. I have always urged the observation of international legal norms," Putin said.

Kerry arrives in Kiev, US to offer $1 billion to Ukraine

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev on Tuesday and announced an economic package and technical assistance for Ukraine in a show of support for its new government. A senior US administration official, who briefed reporters en route to Kiev, said the Obama administration would work with Congress to approve $1 billion in loan guarantees to help lessen the impact on Ukrainians of proposed energy subsidy cuts.

During his short stopover, Kerry was expected to meet with Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov and new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

While on the ground, Kerry was planning to pay homage to the dozens of protesters who died February 20 in anti-government demonstrations.

As Kerry arrived, the White House announced the package of energy aid, along with training for financial and election institutions and anti-corruption efforts. US officials traveling with Kerry, speaking on grounds of anonymity, said the Obama administration is considering imposing unspecified economic sanctions on Russia as soon as this week.

Additionally, the officials said, the US has suspended what was described as a narrow set of discussions with Russia over a bilateral trade investment treaty. It is also going to provide technical advice to the Ukraine government about its trade rights with Russia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be quoted by name before the official announcement was made.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement Tuesday the government was "working with Congress and the government of Ukraine to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees, the proceeds of which will be aimed at protecting the most vulnerable Ukrainian households from the impact of the needed economic adjustment."

"At the same time, the US is moving very quickly to provide technical expertise to help the national bank of Ukraine and the finance ministry address their most pressing challenges," an official travelling with Kerry said.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP, AP, Interfax

 

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