Ukraine's interim prime minister visits Washington seeking aid

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk will look to strengthen ties with Washington and possibly seek more financial aid.
By Ananth Baliga  |  March 12, 2014 at 8:20 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will meet with President Obama Wednesday looking to strengthen U.S. support of the new government.

The interim prime minister, who was an opposition leader and named to his current position after the fall of the pro-Russia government and ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev last month, will meet the president, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the Oval Office Wednesday afternoon. He is then scheduled to speak at the United Nations Thursday.

“The president and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk will discuss how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said in a statement.

Beyond a show of strength, Yatsenyuk will also address his country's failing economy. Sec. Kerry has already pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees and Congress is working on legislation, which has already been passed by the House, to authorize Kerry's commitment.

“Vladimir Putin has proved himself a menace and a threat to stability in the region and he must be held accountable,” Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement.

Yatsenyuk is seeking to boost international pressure, at a time when Russia is increasing its military presence in Crimea, which is scheduled to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to remain in Ukraine or join Russia. Yatsenyuk along with the U.S. and other European nations have called the vote illegitimate, but seem unable to stop the vote.

[New York Times]

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