US signs $1.25b loan guarantee for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Monday signed a US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) loan guarantee for Ukraine, part of an aid package to support the country's economic recovery after weeks of political upheaval and the loss of Crimea to Russia.

"The Ukrainian people have demonstrated tremendous courage as they have charted an independent course for their country and demanded a government that truly reflects the will of the people," US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement.

"The United States has been at the forefront of building international support for Ukraine, and holding Russia accountable for its violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and destabilising action."

Lew announced the signing after meeting Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak in Washington.

The loan guarantee will reinforce the Ukrainian government's efforts to provide critical services as it implements reforms, while protecting the most vulnerable households from the impact of the necessary economic adjustment, Lew said.

Lew praised the work of Shlapak and his team in setting up a comprehensive economic reform programme together with the International Monetary Fund.

"The United States very much wants to see Ukraine prosper, and we will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people as they move forward to realize their long-held aspirations."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.