THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Vice PresidentApril 22, 2014
President Obama and Vice President Biden have made U.S. support for Ukraine an urgent priority as the Ukrainian government works to establish security and stability, pursue democratic elections and constitutional reform, revive its economy, and ensure government institutions are transparent and accountable to theUkrainian people. Ukraine embarks on this reform path in the face of severe challenges to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, which we are working to address together with Ukraine and our partners in the international community. The United States is committed to ensuring that Ukrainians alone are able to determine their country’s future without intimidation or coercion from outside forces. To support Ukraine, we are today announcing a new package of assistance totaling $50 million to help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ukraine.
Elections and Constitutional Reform: Constitutional reform and free and fair elections are keys to Ukraine’s democratic development. Assistance in this area is a down payment on the country’s democratic development. We stand ready to provide further assistance to the new government after elections.
Economic Assistance: The United States has already signed a $1 billion loan guarantee to help Ukraine meet its financial obligations and protect vulnerable citizens from the impact of economic adjustments. We have also supported Ukraine’s work with the IMF to secure a loan program worth $14-$18 billion. As these U.S., IMF, and European funds begin to flow, we will have technical experts from the U.S. Treasury Department on the ground to help the Ukrainian government allocate them effectively to stabilize the economy and ensure all the regions benefit. Currently, there are three banking advisors in Kyiv and we will be deploying public debt management and macroeconomic advisors in the coming week. We are also committed to providing additional technical assistance in the areas of budget and tax administration.
Energy Security: Over the coming weeks, expert teams from several U.S. government agencies will travel to the region to help Ukraine meet immediate and longer term energy needs.
Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption: The United States is committed to helping Ukraine break the cycle of corruption that acts as a tax on business, an impediment to economic growth, and a drain on public trust in government. Technical advisors from the Departments of State and Justice have already been advising the government on anti-corruption measures. Today we are expanding this assistance program with additional commitments.
People-to-People Ties: To further strengthen ties between the people of Ukraine and the United States, we are announcing our intent to establish a new bilateral visa regime that will extend the standard validity of visas for businesspeople and tourists from 5 years to 10 years on a negotiated reciprocal basis.
Security Assistance: In addition to the $50 million package, today we are announcing the provision of $8 million of non-lethal military assistance to allow the Ukrainian armed forces and State Border Guard Service to fulfill their core security missions. The additional supplies include:
This is in addition to the $3 million of Meals Ready to Eat and nearly $7 million of health and welfare assistance the United States is already providing to Ukraine. The United States will continue to actively review requests for additional support as Ukraine’s government further modernizes its armed forces and deals with evolving threats.