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U.S. provides more aid to Ukraine, threatens to step up sanctions on Russia

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BY ALESSANDRA PRENTICE

(Reuters) - The United States signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide $2 billion in loan guarantees to help war-torn Ukraine with "near-term social spending" in 2015 and said it was prepared to step up economic sanctions against Russia if necessary.

After signing the deal with Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew criticized what he called "Russian aggression", a reference to Moscow's support for separatists battling Kiev's forces in eastern Ukraine which has triggered the Western sanctions on Moscow.

"We remain prepared to do more (on sanctions) if necessary. To that end, we will continue to work with our allies to increase the pressure on Russia," Lew told reporters at the signing ceremony.

Lew added that the sanctions could be eased if Russia abided by the terms of the Minsk agreements signed last September which called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian fighters and military equipment from Ukraine.

Moscow denies Western and Ukrainian accusations that it has sent regular forces into eastern Ukraine.

 

Read More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/28/us-ukraine-loan-idUSKBN0L10YV20150128

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Guest Wednesday, 13 November 2019