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Ukrain crisis: William Hague to hold talks with US Secretary of State, IMF

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 00:08

Zee Media Bureau

Brussels: British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday said he will travel to Washington to speak to US Secretary of State John Kerry and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after Ukrainian government today urged the international community to provide $35 billion aid to improve the country`s economy.

"Ukraine`s financial situation is very serious, and without outside assistance may not be sustainable," Hague said in a statement to parliament.

Hague added that he would visit Ukraine "shortly" adding that the revolt-hit country needed urgent financial aid to prop up its economy.

Ukrain crisis depend today after an arrest warrant was issued against the ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters.

“Ukrain protesters are not terrorists. The European Union has to act in a way to stop the violence. They are in a desperate need, so help them to stop the violence,” Hague told reporters here.

British Foreign Secretary today discussed sanctions against Ukraine here.

He said the IMF was "best placed" to provide immediate financial and technical support, but stressed that aid would be dependent on economic and political reforms.

Hague noted that European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton was now in Kiev, "and I will visit shortly", he added.

Yesterday, speaking to the BBC, William Hague had said, “Unrest in Ukraine poses many dangers, but there is an opportunity to unite a very divided country.”

"Over the past two days, we carried out consultations and meetings with the ambassadors of the European Union (EU), the US and other countries and financial institutions for the urgent delivery of financial assistance to Ukraine," Xinhua quoted acting Finance Minister Yury Kolobov as saying in a statement today.
Earlier, Kiev had proposed to hold an international donor conference with the participation of the EU, the US, Poland, the IMF, and other countries and international financial institutions to allocate funds for Ukraine`s reforms and modernization, Kolobov said.

In 2014, Ukraine has to repay $17.4 billion of its foreign debt.

The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation`s new Western-leaning team -- approved by Parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.

Three months of unceasing protests over Yanukovych`s shock decision to spurn an historic pact with the European Union in favour of closer ties with its old masters in the Kremlin culminated in days of carnage last week in Kiev that claimed almost 100 lives.

Ukraine`s new interim head of the federal police said he held Yanukovych and his team of feared security insiders directly responsible for the deaths.

"A criminal case has been launched over the mass murder of peaceful civilians. Yanukovych and a number of other officials have been put on a wanted list," acting interior minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement.

Avakov said Yanukovych had tried to flee the country on Saturday out of the eastern city of Donetsk -- his political power base and bastion of pro-Russian support -- before escaping to Crimea with a team of guards and a cache of weapons the next day.

He said the deposed head of state and his powerful administration chief Andriy Klyuev had since "travelled by three cars into an unknown direction, having first switched off their modes of communication".
Ukraine has been reeling from both political and financial crises that have seen the nation of 46 million face the threat of splintering between its pro-Western and more Russified regions and having to declare a devastating default.

World financial chiefs meeting in Sydney at the weekend raised the possibility of drumming up a huge rescue package that could fill in for USD 15 billion promised to Yanukovych by Russian President Vladimir Putin -- money that is now on potentially permanent hold.

With agency inputs

First Published: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 23:34
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