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U.S. offers Ukraine $50 mln aid package

Source: Reuters - Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:15 GMT
Author: Reuters
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KIEV, April 22 (Reuters) - The United States has offered Ukraine a new $50 million aid package to help with economic and political reform, the White House said on Tuesday during a visit to Kiev by Vice President Joe Biden.

It also offered an additional $8 million in non-lethal military aid, including radios and vehicles, according to a statement issued by Biden's staff in Kiev.

Small in terms of Ukraine's needs and in relation to the $1 billion loan guarantee already signed with Washington, the package, along with Biden's visit, was a clear show of support for the new authorities following the overthrow of the Kremlin-backed president and continuing confrontation with Russia.

"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," it said.

Saying Washington was ready to provide further assistance after a presidential election on May 25, it said $11.4 million of the package would support the integrity of that vote.

U.S. experts would also work on reducing Ukraine's dependence on Russian gas and in fighting corruption. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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