OTTAWA, March 13 (UPI) -- Canada will provide a loan guarantee and other aid totaling $220 million to the new government in Ukraine, the Canadian foreign affairs minister said Thursday.
John Baird told reporters in Ottawa the financial support will "promote sustainable economic growth, democratic development and good governance" in Ukraine where the fledgling government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is seeking to establish solid footing after ousting Viktor Yanukovych, who had the support of Russia, which has moved its military forces into Ukraine's Crimea region.
Baird said a $200 million loan guarantee with an additional $20 million will "ensure that the government of Ukraine receives the expert guidance it needs to manage this important economic transition."
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined Group of Seven leaders Wednesday in urging Moscow to halt a referendum scheduled for Sunday in Crimea that would decide whether the autonomous region's largely pro-Russian population should become part of Russia.
"All of the G7 countries remain collectively strongly committed to the view that we will not accept Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea," Harper said in British Columbia upon returning from a trip to South Korea.