US urges countries to help Ukraine's economic rescue

 
Pro-Russian activists warm themselves by a fire outside the Security Service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on 11/04/14 Protests continue in Ukraine, but its economy needs international help, says the US

Related Stories

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has urged other countries to contribute more to the economic rescue of Ukraine.

He told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Ukraine's "sizeable financing needs" meant other nations must add to its $1bn (£597m, 720m euros) loan guarantee.

The appeal came as Ukraine's interim prime minister offered to devolve more powers to eastern regions.

Pro-Russian separatists there are defying the government.

Meanwhile, Washington on Friday announced a third round of sanctions against individuals it has linked to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The US Treasury said it had frozen the US-based assets of one former Ukrainian official, a Crimea-based energy firm and six Crimean leaders, including the chairman of the Crimea electoral commission and the mayor of Sevastopol.

Immediate steps 'critical'

Mr Lew says the US is "bolstering the IMF program through a complementary aid package, which includes a $1bn loan guarantee and additional technical assistance," in a statement to the IMF.

"It is critical that the international community - multilateral development banks and bilaterals - take immediate steps to also support the IMF program by providing financing support, given the sizeable financing needs," he adds.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaking in Washington on 11 April 2014 US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has described Russia's annexation of Crimea as "illegal and illegitimate"

The IMF announced a rescue package worth as much as $18bn last month in a bid to aid Ukraine's economy, and this has been bolstered to $27bn with contributions from Europe and the US.

In exchange, the IMF has demanded from Ukraine strict government spending cuts and tax increases.

Ukraine is being squeezed by Russia's decision this month to stop providing Ukraine with subsidised natural gas.

That discount had been agreed between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's then President Viktor Yanukovych, in which Russia also said it would buy $15bn-worth of Ukrainian government bonds.

Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk: "We've made an offer... but it's up to them [the separatists] to decide"

Separately on Friday, Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk offered to devolve more powers to the east of the nation and is holding talks with regional leaders in Donetsk, where activists demanding self-rule had occupied a government building.

The separatist protests in Ukraine's eastern cities follow Russia's annexation of Crimea last month - described as the biggest political confrontation in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

The IMF is also asking Ukraine to crack down on corruption and end central bank support for the Ukrainian currency.

Ukraine's new government has said it needs $35bn to pay its bills over the next two years.

Ukraine has not paid off its debt to Russian gas supplier Gazprom despite the passing earlier this week of a deadline for the nation to start reducing its debt. Gazprom says Ukraine owes it $2.2bn.

European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Austria's ORF radio he was working on a plan to help Ukraine pay its gas bills to ensure its debts do not rise.

Gas supplies

On Friday, President Putin moved to assure the EU it would not cut off gas supplies. Brussels said it would stand with the new authorities in Kiev if the Kremlin carries out a threat to turn off the tap to Ukraine.

"I want to say again: We do not intend and do not plan to shut off the gas for Ukraine," Mr Putin said in televised comments at a meeting of his advisory Security Council, the Reuters news agency reported.

A pressure gauge at an underground gas storage facility in the village of Mryn, 120 km (75 miles) north of Kiev taken on 21 May 2013 The EU says it can pump gas back to Ukraine using reverse-flow pipeline technology

Russia has turned off the gas tap to Ukraine before, in 2006 and 2009. As the 2009 row escalated, gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine were suspended for two weeks.

But Russia may be reluctant to do it again as it is dependent on revenue from EU customers.

The EU and US have imposed sanctions on a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The US Treasury says its latest round of sanctions target the US-based assets of one former Ukrainian official, a Crimea-based energy firm and six Crimean leaders, including the chairman of the Crimea electoral commission and the mayor of Sevastopol.

Talks between Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU - the first four-way discussions since the crisis began - are scheduled to take place on 17 April in Geneva.

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 147.

    Hitler, Stalin and now Putin, dictators all and not a fag paper between them when it comes to their imperialistic aims, so clashes are inevitable. History proves the rest will make a stand in the end, it's just a matter of courage and time. It just a shame the longer the free world waits the more carnage in the end.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 146.

    Re 135 - "Joined at the hip"?

    I hope not, playing football this afternoon!

    But each time you prove my point made in 126.

    So please keep it coming Comrade.

    Times have moved on over the last decade. You no longer have to use military force to hurt someone like Putin. Hit the rich and powerful in Putin's Russia with sanctions, then they'll stop turning a bling eye to Putin's antics.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 145.

    135.ifinkso

    Well at least two of us have actually bothered to read as many different sources of information as we can to form an opinion. Unlike those who stick exclusively to Putin owned media sources. I stick to my claim. Mr Putin is religiously inspired, resentful of all western people for their part in the fall of the USSR, and is out for revenge.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 144.

    Russia isn't, hasn't and never has invaded the Ukraine.

    This mess was created by has-been dinosaurs in the US and obsessive meddlers in the EU.

    Why should EU members like Greece and Portugal lose out because funds are being diverted to NON EU Ukraine to support their Nazi coup government ?

    Notice how Greece is now conveniently 'out of the red ?'

    Because some accountant has twiddled the figures

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 143.

    We need to start looking at our belief systems.Nothing, since religions started has stopped millions upon millions being killed in pointless wars.

    It is very sad that America, because of greed and empire building thinks that we all want their way of life,with its questionable morality.

    We need to rethink our places in the world and the ultimate aim should be peace and understanding of others

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 142.

    41.
    SinophilinSpain

    Yes well like many others I have always been somewhat dubious about the so called benefits of immigration that we keep being told is so wonderful, to be candid.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 141.

    Why does the Eu and USA not mind their own business? The Ukraine government is illegal , so maybe Russian has a point.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 140.

    The US, EU and NATO badly misjudged the reaction of Russia when they started making overtures to the Ukraine. Putin is a murderous thug but he has outsmarted the west at every turn on this issue. There was no way he would ever stand for NATO on his doorstep. Crimea has gone East Ukraine will be next. After that...........who knows! The Wests' biggest weapon? Stop the shopping trips to Harrods.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 139.

    Now that's posed Putin's Little Hidden Helpers a problem?

    Interesting to note that according to Russia's own figures their economy is on the brink of major Recession. Investment into the country has nose dived and Russians have already taken out $70 billion worth of assets out of the country this year.

    Putin should look to sorting out Russia first, rather than destabilising the Ukraine.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 138.

    The silly politicians from the US EU & NATO made a big deal out of this little fiasco in rather distant eastern europe - now y'all paying the price.

    Perhaps its time to junk all the politicians in the west and reboot - they surely did create the 2007 global recession all on their own - this is more of the same - most politicians have never had a job or made wages - they are welfare recipients

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 137.

    If the US wants to help, fine.
    It is not our problem so why should we borrow more to give it away.
    This applies to all overseas aid, if we don't have it, borrowing will only make our problems even worse than they are at present.
    Charity begins at home.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 136.

    Not our problem.

  • Comment number 135.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 134.

    It seems obvious that despite the good words, the US / NATO / EU have no intention of fronting up to Russia over Ukraine, otherwise we'd already have boots on the ground. This message must be equally obvious to Putin. The US isnt normally as reluctant to flex it's muscle in favour of empty retoric. Only the possibility of having to fire on NATO troops will stop Russsia from annexing east Ukraine

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 133.

    If we think the governments of the world are going to help the Ukraine people???
    Did they help millions starving in third world countries?
    Did they not stand by while Syria was being torn to pieces.
    They all club together to find a Black Box at the bottom of the Ocean, that doesn't bring the passengers back.
    We have an Orchestra of Nero's Playing (Fiddle) while we and our world burns

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 132.

    aaron grant@115
    "real problem"

    We look to individuals, nations, alliances, to 'lay the blame', but ours is the failure. No surprise distrust abroad if at home from anti-democratic propaganda we decline to possess ourselves of rational trust in each other, in equal partnership. The 'weakness' of even a better president lies in the weakness of the people, 'their' press & politics captive to Mammon.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 131.

    Jacob Lew is part of "The Club" of business men, money lenders and the elites who decide what's happening next in the world. If he's after more money, it won't be for the benefit of the Ukranian people.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 130.

    The interim government in Ukraine is not elected, yet there was a referendum in Crimea, who is a legal government and who is not? I don't know any more.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 129.

    @122 That decision was based on the premise of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

    The Soviet Union was in a much better position to remove the Nazis from Poland than the Western Allies were; had the Soviets stopped at Brest and Lvov and left East Germany and Poland to the Western Allies the war would have lasted another year or two, meaning another year or two of operational Nazi death camps.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 128.

    My Ukrainian wife and I have just come back from Ukraine after visiting her family. What we found is that if the EU doesn't do more to help then most Ukrainians will feel that they have no option but to favour rejoining Russia I am sorry to say. Faced with little money, bills they cannot pay and trapped (the only place Ukrainians could travel to without a visa was Russia) and the loss of Crimea.

 

Page 16 of 23

 

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    09:58: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    The Universal Service Obligation costs Royal Mail £7.2bn, says Moya Greene.

     
  2.  
    09:58: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    Moya Greene, the chief executive of Royal Mail, is being asked about the company's VAT exemption. She responds that the VAT exemption is not unusual and that it is enjoyed by every single Universal Service Obligation provider.

     
  3.  
    09:55: Royal Mail goes to Parliament
    Nick Wells

    Nick Wells is now getting a grilling over the number of people his company employs on "flexible" contracts. He says the company has created thousands of jobs among the most needy in society. He says Royal Mail needs to change its work pattern. At his company staff can work on contracts of 40 hours a week, or 20 hours a week. He is critical of Royal Mail's "unwillingness to attacks its cost base". He thinks Royal Mail should make efficiency savings, particularly in terms of labour relations.

     
  4.  
    09:54: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    Moya Greene comes back on that, saying it's not fair to compare the UK to the Netherlands or Belgium. She says in those countries access is limited to 5% of all mail. The UK market is far more liberalised, she argues. For example, 50% of business mail is not delivered by Royal Mail.

     
  5.  
    09:54: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    Nick Wells, says the Universal Service Obligation is a requirement in other countries such as the Netherlands, which have been opened up to competition. "And guess what," he says. "Their services have improved."

     
  6.  
    09:52: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    Mr Wells adds: "We are a start-up business, we cannot cover every address in the UK. We are focusing on dense urban areas but we are also focusing on London which is the second most expensive area to operate in behind rural."

     
  7.  
    09:52: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    Nick Wells, chief executive of Whistl says: "We pay Royal Mail a fair and effective price to cover the more difficult rural areas...what is a threat to the universal service obligation is structural decline."

     
  8.  
    09:50: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    A quick reminder: The Universal Service Obligation, or USO, mandates that Royal Mail provides at least one delivery of letters every Monday to Saturday to every address in the UK, at a single, standardised price.

     
  9.  
    09:48: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    The session on competition in the UK postal sector is live on Parliament's website.

     
  10.  
    09:44: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    Guy Buswell, chief executive of UK Mail, says there is "no cherry picking whatsoever, we pay Royal Mail a good rate and they make a good margin on those rates". He adds: "If you do start to try and make deliveries to rural areas it is extremely expensive".

     
  11.  
    09:42: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    As well as Moya Greene, the Business Committee is hearing from: Nick Wells of Whistl, Guy Buswell of UK Mail and Daniel Vines of TNT UK. Later, Roy Perticucci of Amazon will give evidence too.

     
  12.  
    09:40: Royal Mail goes to Parliament
    Moya Greene

    Royal Mail has made "some very painful efficiency savings," Moya Greene says in her opening salvo to the Business Committee. She says "I think there is" when asked if there is a real threat to the universal service obligation (USO). She adds the USO has been under attack from competitors who have been able to cherry pick where they can deliver to for 10 years.

     
  13.  
    UK GDP 09:30: Breaking News

    The UK economy grew by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014, the second official estimate of GDP from the Office for National Statistics shows.

     
  14.  
    Via Twitter Victoria Fritz Business reporter, BBC News

    tweets: "Founder of the eponymous homeware granny chic label Cath Kidston is stepping down from her creative director role after 21 years"

     
  15.  
    09:18: EU investment package

    For those who wish to continue following proceedings at the European Parliament, our colleagues in the politics hub are running a live blog and video feed.

     
  16.  
    09:18: Britvic profits
    Britvic drinks

    Drinks company Britvic has reported a 23% rise in pre-tax profit of £133m for the year to the end of September. Sales grew 2.4% in the period, to £1.3bn. The company's highly successful Fruit Shoot multi-pack product - familiar to parents of two-year-olds across the UK- is due to launch in the US in the second half of 2015.

     
  17.  
    09:08: Patisserie Valerie
    Patisserie Valerie

    Patisserie Holdings, the parent company of cafe chain Patisserie Valerie, reports a 26.8% rise in annual pre-tax profits, to £10.4m. The company, which listed on the London Stock Exchange this year with the ticker symbol CAKE, opened 19 new stores in the past 12 months, and saw a 100% increase in online sales (yes, they offer a range of gateaux via the web).

     
  18.  
    Via Twitter Graeme Wearden, business reporter at the Guardian

    tweets: "Last month, @HarrietGreen1 was 'adamant that she is nowhere near finished at Thomas Cook'"

     
  19.  
    Via Twitter Marco Zatterin, La Stampa
    Juncker

    tweets: "The Juncker Plan - 300"

     
  20.  
    08:52: Market update

    European markets are higher this morning, cheered by Tuesday's US GDP figure, which showed the world's largest economy growing by an annualised rate of 3.9% in the third quarter. Thomas Cook shares are lower by 20% this morning, to 109.4p, following the departure of chief executive Harriet Green.

    • The FTSE 1400 index is 0.33% higher at 6755
    • Germany's Dax is 0.68% higher at 9927
    • France's Cac-40 is 0.22% higher at 4391
     
  21.  
    08:42: EU investment package

    Incidentally, the fund is now confirmed to be €315bn, not €300bn as previously reported.

     
  22.  
    08:38: EU investment package

    The European Investment Bank will put $5bn into Mr Juncker's investment package, says EIB president Werner Hoyer.

     
  23.  
    Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Thomas Cook still lists Harriet Green as boss. All feels really rushed"

     
  24.  
    Via Twitter Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne columnist, the Economist

    tweets: "@JunckerEU: We don't want national wishlists, we don't want this fund to be politicised. This is not an ATM, the fund is not a bank."

     
  25.  
    08:25: EU investment package

    "I have a vision of children in Thessaloniki walking into a brand new classroom" says Mr Juncker. He also mentions improved hospitals, more green energy and better broadband infrastructure as part of his vision for a better Europe.

     
  26.  
    08:17: EU investment package

    Mr Juncker says this is a "time for political consensus" in Europe. He says the €300bn package comes on top of existing investment by EU member states, and that individual countries must enforce structural reforms.

     
  27.  
    08:15: EU investment package

    "Not only are we faced with an investment gap, we are faced with an investment trap," says Mr Juncker, because investors lack confidence. He adds that Europe's public resources are stretched, which is putting a strain on investment, a large amount of which comes through public expenditure.

     
  28.  
    08:12: EU investment package
    Juncker

    "Christmas has come early," says Mr Juncker, as he begins his speech. "Today Europe is turning a page," with an "ambitious investment plan", he says. "Europe is back in business".

     
  29.  
    08:10: Thomas Cook

    Thomas Cook shares have taken a tumble this morning following the surprise announcement that chief executive Harriet Green is leaving the business with immediate effect. Shares are down 18.5% to 112.5p.

     
  30.  
    08:04: EU investment package

    European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is about to start his speech outlining the €300bn plan to stimulate investment in the eurozone economy. For the fortitudinous among you, a live feed is available on the Commission's website.

     
  31.  
    Bank culture Via Email David Stanley from Richmond

    writes: "Where does all the money [from fines] go? Presumably some goes in compensation to the victims, but the rest? To pay off the deficit?"

     
  32.  
    Via Twitter Lauren Davidson, business reporter at The Telegraph

    tweets: "From Times Mag profile last month: CEO Harriet Green fixed Thomas Cook, earned less than her male predecessor."

     
  33.  
    07:40: Thomas Cook
    Green

    A little more on Harriet Green's departure from Thomas Cook. "I always said that I would move on to another company with fresh challenges once my work was complete," she says. "That time is now." The statement adds that when Ms Green joined, the company's share price was 14p. Today, it is 137.9p.

     
  34.  
    Via Twitter Simon Jack Business correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "Harriet Green steps down as CEO of Thomas Cook after only 2 years. She once told me she never stays anywhere for long but this is very brief."

     
  35.  
    07:30: Thomas Cook
    Thomas Cook

    Overall, Thomas Cook, which has been struggling to compete with the rise of internet travel agents, made a statutory pre-tax loss of £114m for the year to the end of September. It's an improvement on the year before, when it made a £163m loss.

     
  36.  
    07:24: Compass profits
    Students receive their lunch at Salusbury Primary School in northwest London

    Global catering and support services firm Compass group - if you have never eaten their food, there is a very strong chance your children will have eaten it at school - has reported a 5.4% rise in pre-tax profits to £1.16bn for the year to the end of September. "Food is and will remain our core competence and is backed with some strong support service businesses," the company says.

     
  37.  
    07:18: SAS enlists Flybe
    SAS

    British low-cost airline Flybe has announced it has signed an agreement with Scandinavian carrier SAS, to operate some of its short haul services. It's a white-label deal, meaning SAS insignia will be displayed on the planes, and the flights will seem to the outsider like a regular SAS service.

     
  38.  
    07:08: Thomas Cook

    Holiday travel company Thomas Cook has announced that its boss, Harriet Green, is to step down. She will be replaced by Peter Fankhauser, currently the chief operating officer. Ms Green only joined the firm two years ago.

     
  39.  
    07:04: Royal Mail goes to Parliament

    That's all happening at 9:30, by the way.

     
  40.  
    Royal Mail goes to Parliament 07:02: Via Blog Kamal Ahmed BBC Business editor

    Royal Mail chief executive, Moya Greene, will for the first time appear in public to make the case about why the universal, UK-wide postal service is in imminent danger. And if the written evidence Royal Mail has sent to the committee is anything to go by, her words will certainly be punchy. The written evidence calls for urgent intervention by regulator Ofcom and warns if not: "A tipping point could be reached. The universal service could become unviable before effective changes can be implemented."

     
  41.  
    06:52: Bank culture Radio 5 live
    UBS

    One more from Lord McFall on Wake Up to Money. He says senior managers at banks "have often pleaded ignorance or stupidity rather than culpability" and that has to change. He cites an example of four top executives at Swiss bank UBS who came before the Committee on Banking Standards. Asked if they knew the name of their "star performer" who had just lost the bank $2bn, they replied that they didn't, he says. "The first they had heard of it was on the Bloomberg wires," Lord McFall adds.

     
  42.  
    06:46: BG boss' pay BBC Radio 4

    Mr Walker adds that BG Group's pay offer illustrates "poor corporate governance", and "puts fund managers in a position where they are forced to approve" the £25m remuneration package for new boss Helge Lund.

     
  43.  
    06:44: Bank culture Radio 5 live
    Air force

    The £27bn that banks have paid in fines for the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) outstrips this year's defence budget, says Lord McFall. Since the start of the financial crisis, banks have paid out more than £38bn in fines, for a litany of sins. What makes matters worse is that he and other MPs were warning the banks over the dangers of PPI for 20 years, before the mis-selling scandal broke, he adds.

     
  44.  
    06:32: BG boss' pay BBC Radio 4
    Mr Lund

    "A red rag to anti-capitalists," is what Simon Walker, from the Institute of Directors (IoD), calls the proposed £25m pay packet for the incoming head of gas explorer BG Group, Helge Lund. He tells Today "you could not calculate a measure that is more likely to inflame" politicians, and the general public, who will balk at the sum, which is "more than 10 times [Mr Lund's] pay in Norway", where Mr Lund ran the state's oil firm.

     
  45.  
    06:24: Bank culture Radio 5 live
    McFall

    Lord McFall tells Wake Up to Money initiatives to change the culture in banks are "fledging and fragile". He adds: "Rhetoric at the top has been implemented, but not carried down the line [into bank departments]". The aggressive sales culture of the banks will be eliminated eventually. But the banks can't do it alone, he adds. He is also calling on the banks to provide annual progress reports to Parliament's Banking Standards Committee.

     
  46.  
    06:14: Welfare reforms

    The UK's National Audit Office has warned that the cost of introducing major welfare reforms could run into billions of pounds if the IT system needed to deliver the changes isn't completed on time. The Universal Credit programme has been beset by IT problems, and the chairman of the public accounts committee, Margaret Hodge, has accused the government of throwing good money after bad. Ministers insist they are getting value for money.

     
  47.  
    06:10: Bank culture Radio 5 live

    UK think tank New City Agenda says it will take "a generation" to fix the culture of the banking industry, in a report published today. The organisation's chairman, Lord McFall, who is also former chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, tells Wake Up to Money the report is the first to have gone inside the banks - it visited 11 of them - so provides a real insight into what is going on, and it's not pretty.

     
  48.  
    06:05: Clegg on immigration
    Clegg

    The UK's deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, has said he supports further restrictions on benefit payments to migrants from elsewhere in the European Union. Writing in the Financial Times, the Liberal Democrat leader also warns David Cameron against trying to limit the number of EU migrants coming to the UK.

     
  49.  
    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Plus Moya Greene, chief executive of the Royal Mail, will be giving evidence to the Business Committee - as will a number of her rivals - on competition in the postal sector and the government-mandated obligation to deliver to all UK addresses. As always, get in touch on email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter @bbcbusiness.

     
  50.  
    06:00: Joe Miller Business Reporter

    Morning. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will set out details this morning of a €300bn plan intended to revive Europe's flagging economy. Most of the money is expected to be provided by the private sector. More on that in the next few hours.

     

Features

From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Ladybird - a robot designed to help with farm workClick Watch

    From weed detecting to a robotic dairy - the tech that could help farmers be more efficient

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.