Quantcast
Connect with us

Secretary of State John Kerry to Ukraine: We are going to help you

Published

on

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday became the highest-profile foreign diplomat to visit Ukraine’s interim government, offering a $1 billion support package in the face of an escalating crisis with Russia.

Both the visit and the announcement highlighted Washington’s determination to support the authorities in Kiev against Russia as the West grapples with the most serious crisis in the region since the Cold War.

ADVERTISEMENT

On a grey, foggy day, Kerry looked sombre as he visited Kiev’s Shrine of the Fallen, the flower-laden memorial honouring the nearly 100 people killed during last month’s Independence Square protests.

Surrounded by a large crowd, he said: “We are going to help you. We are helping you. President Obama is planning for more assistance.”

He later met leading politicians including former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, who is set to run for president in May’s election.

During his brief stopover, Kerry was also expected to meet Ukraine’s interim president Oleksandr Turchynov and new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after the bloodshed in Independence Square, where protesters massed last year to demonstrate against his failure to ratify a trade pact with the European Union.

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘Urgent challenges’ –

His toppling and flight to Russia prompted the deployment of thousands of pro-Moscow forces in the autonomous territory of Crimea, where they remain in de facto control.

Shortly before Kerry arrived in Kiev, President Vladimir Putin insisted at a press conference Russia had the right to use “all means” to protect its citizens in Ukraine but denied he had already deployed troops.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the announcement of assistance signalled the US determination not to yield in the battle for influence in Ukraine.

“The new government of Ukraine has said publicly and committed privately that it has the political will to meet its urgent challenges,” US Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The United States is prepared to work with its bilateral and multilateral partners to provide as much support as Ukraine needs to restore financial stability and return to economic growth, if the new government implements the necessary reforms.”

He said the US offer of $1 billion in loan guarantees aimed to protect “the most vulnerable Ukrainian households from the impact of the needed economic adjustment.”

Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom said Tuesday it would end a discount it gives to Ukraine on gas prices from April but proposed a loan of up to $3 billion to cover its debt.

ADVERTISEMENT

Moscow is often accused of using its gas exports as a diplomatic weapon aimed at influencing decisions of ex-Soviet nations that contemplate closer relations with the West.

Ukraine relies on imports for about three-quarters of its oil and natural gas supplies.

US officials travelling with Kerry also said Moscow could face sanctions within days.

“I think there will be movement on sanctions very likely later in this week and there is a whole spectrum of sanctions,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Recipe for disaster’: Officials in Florida city say they face ‘unimaginable’ potential death from COVID-19

Published

on

Officials in the Florida city of Hialeah are warning that they are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and face the possibility of "unimaginable" death from the disease.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, the officials explained how their large population of senior citizens is at grave risk if Hialeah erupts as a major COVID-19 hotspot.

"I think it is going to get a lot worse," Hialeah Councilman Jesus Tundidor tells The Daily Beast. “The experts have been telling us to expect a peak [in Florida] near the end of the month. As we get more testing sites up and running, the more positive cases we will see. And that will create more fear."

Continue Reading

Facebook

The long history of US racism against Asian Americans, from ‘yellow peril’ to ‘model minority’ to the ‘Chinese virus’

Published

on

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang called upon Asian Americans to become part of the solution against COVID-19.

In the face of rising anti-Asian racist actions – now at about 100 reported cases per day – Yang implores Asian Americans to “wear red, white, and blue” in their efforts to combat the virus.

Continue Reading
 

COVID-19

A coronavirus vaccine that wouldn’t require a shot

Published

on

As labs around the world race to develop a vaccine, my colleagues and I are trying to find a better way to deliver it than the standard, cringe-inducing shot.

I am an immunologist and dermatologist, and my colleagues and I have been working on vaccines against the very related coronaviruses that cause MERS and SARS. We were able to use the resources and systems we had already developed to very rapidly create a vaccine candidate for this new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that we have tested in mice.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image