Statement of Secretary Lew on Economic Assistance to Ukraine
We have been working closely with international partners to develop an assistance package that will help the Ukrainian government implement the reforms needed to restore financial stability and return to economic growth. The new government of Ukraine has said publicly and committed privately that it has the political will to meet its urgent challenges. 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.
At the request of the Ukrainian government, a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is currently in Kyiv working with the Ukrainian authorities. The IMF will be at the center of an international assistance package and is best placed to support Ukraine’s implementation of robust and market-oriented reforms. In parallel, the United States is working alongside international partners to assemble a package to help make the IMF program a success.
As part of this international effort, the United States has developed a package of bilateral assistance focused on meeting Ukraine’s four most pressing needs: implementing critical economic reforms and cushioning their impact on vulnerable Ukrainians; conducting free, fair and inclusive elections, with robust involvement by a strong and independent civil society and media; combating corruption and recovering stolen assets; and withstanding politically motivated trade actions by Russia.
Specifically, the U.S. Administration is working with Congress and the Government of Ukraine to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees, the proceeds of which will be aimed at protecting the most vulnerable Ukrainian households from the impact of the needed economic adjustment. We are working with Congress to approve the 2010 IMF quota legislation, which would support the IMF’s capacity to lend additional resources to Ukraine, while also helping to preserve continued U.S. leadership within this important institution. The United States is also moving quickly to deploy a range of other financing and technical expertise, utilizing a whole-of-government approach to support Ukraine. The Departments of Commerce, Justice, Energy, State, Treasury, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development are all preparing to deploy rapid assistance. For example, the United States Treasury is ready to dispatch highly experienced technical advisors to help the Ukrainian financial authorities manage immediate market pressures and support Ukraine as it negotiates with the IMF.