“Before turning to the focus of my remarks, let me say that we are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine with grave concern,” said US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew before the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference.
“As President Obama told President Putin yesterday, Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity is a breach of international law,” according to the prepared text for delivery posted on the Press Center of US Department of the Treasury.
He added that the White House is prepared to provide the new officials in Kiev with as much financial support they need to fix their crisis-hit economy.
“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,” said the Treasury Secretary.
Mr. Lew said that Washington has called on Ukraine to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund and that an IMF program must be the center piece of any assistance package.
“I have spoken several times to the Ukrainian Prime Minister who assures me that the government is prepared to take the necessary steps to build a secure economic foundation, including urgently needed market reforms that will restore financial stability, unleash economic potential, and allow Ukraine’s people to better achieve their economic aspirations.”
The US Treasury Secretary made the remarks as Secretary of State John Kerry threatened Russia with economic sanctions in case it does not withdrew its military forces form the Ukrainian region.
“There are visa bans, asset freezes, isolation with respect to trade, investment,” the US Secretary of State said during the CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
“American businesses may well want to start thinking twice about whether they want to do business with a country that behaves like this. These are serious implications,” he added.
Kerry who is going to travel to Ukraine on Tuesday to show Washington's support for Ukraine's new leadership also threatened that Russia could be ousted from the Group of Eight (G8).
“Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose, and he’s going to lose all of the glow that came out of the Olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza,” Kerry said, adding that “He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] is not going to have a Sochi G8, he may not even remain in the G8 if this continues."
Speaking on ABC’s This Week television program, Kerry issued a starker warning to Moscow, stressing that “all options are on the table” to deal with the crisis.
The upper house of the Russian parliament on Saturday approved Russian president’s request to deploy troops to Crimea. Putin made the request after Crimea’s regional prime minister asked him to help restore peace and calm in the region.
Ukraine has been gripped by protests since November when the government decided to shelve a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
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Source: Press TV