Wednesday, March 5, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday

March 4, 2014 (The New York Times) In a demonstration of support for Ukraine’s fledgling government, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here on Tuesday with an offer of $1 billion in American loan guarantees and pledges of technical assistance, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday. The purpose of the loan guarantee is to support Ukraine’s efforts to integrate with the West and to help offset the reduction of energy subsidies from Russia, which has challenged the new government’s legitimacy and occupied the Crimean Peninsula. The United States will also send technical experts to help Ukraine’s national bank and finance ministry, provide advice on how to fight corruption and train election monitors to help establish the legitimacy of Ukraine’s coming election.
American officials are offering assistance in recovering “stolen assets,” an allusion to the billions of dollars that are alleged to have been spirited out of the country by former President Viktor F. Yanukovych and powerful businessmen. The United States will also provide technical advice so that Ukraine might lodge complaints with the World Trade Organization should Russia try to use trade as a political weapon. Economic sanctions to punish Russia for its military intervention in Crimea, the senior official said, are likely to be imposed within days. “I think there will be movement on sanctions very likely later in this week,” said the State Department official, who could not be identified under the agency’s protocol for briefing reporters on Mr. Kerry’s trip. “There’s a whole spectrum of sanctions.” Mr. Kerry’s visit here, his first as secretary of state, is both a symbolic and tangible illustration of American support as the White House has tried to line up European backing to counteract Russian pressure on the new Ukrainian authorities. Mr. Kerry plans to meet with the acting prime minister, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, and the acting president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, as well as leaders of the Rada, or Ukrainian parliament.

Secretary of State John Kerry stood in front of a barricade at the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev on Tuesday. Foto Kevin Lamarque/Agence France-Presse
The whole article is available at