Amid escalating tensions with Russia US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Kyiv offering economic and technical assistance to Ukraine’s new government.
The White House is reportedly working with Congress and the IMF on a $1 billion aid package to help ease the impact of proposed Russian energy subsidy cuts, which run out in April.
Kerry’s visit follows crisis meetings in Washington between President Obama and senior advisors on ways to pressure Moscow to pull its troops out of Crimea.
During a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama also warned Moscow it would take a series of economic and diplomatic steps to isolate Russia. According to senior US sources travelling with John Kerry, sanctions could be imposed on Russia ‘‘later this week.’‘