White House offers US 'support' to Ukraine, on top of possible IMF package
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the U.S. government is prepared to provide support to Ukraine, under certain conditions, as the country tries to emerge from a bloody power struggle that is still in flux.
Carney spoke after Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Carney said that at this point, Yanukovych's whereabouts have not been confirmed but he is not "actively leading the country."
Carney said the Obama administration believes the Ukrainian parliament has lawfully elected a new speaker. The parliament's speaker, Oleksandr Turchinov, has been acting as the government's interim leader in the wake of the wave of the protests that prompted Yanukovich to flee the capital of Kiev.
The administration has already said that the International Monetary Fund is working on a package of assistance for Ukraine. But Carney said that the U.S. and other countries are prepared to offer additional support as the country "takes the reforms it needs."
"This support can complement an IMF program by helping to make reforms easier and by putting Ukraine in a position to invest more in health and education to help develop Ukraine's human capital and strengthen its social safety net," he said. "So, we would be working with international partners to complement an IMF program, going forward."
According to a Treasury official, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew spoke earlier Monday with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Lew said he told Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk that there is "broad support" for an international package of support once a transitional government is in place.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.