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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Latest Updates on Ukraine Crisis

The Lede is following events in Ukraine and Russia on Tuesday, as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia described the crisis in Ukraine as the result of an “unconstitutional coup,” throwing his support behind ousted President Viktor F. Yanukovych and reserving the right to use force as “a last resort.”

Updates below mix breaking news with dispatches from Times correspondents and firsthand accounts of events on the ground posted on social networks by bloggers and journalists in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine.

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8:27 A.M. Details of Broad U.S. Economic Aid to Ukraine

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev in a demonstration of support for Ukraine’s fledgling government, offering $1 billion in American loan guarantees and pledges of technical assistance.

At the same time, Jacob J. Lew, the United States Treasury secretary, in a statement, provided details about the pledge and how the United States assistance would work alongside that provided by the International Monetary Fund. Excerpts:

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.

A White House statement said the United States was ready to provide assistance for what it identified as Ukraine’s four most urgent needs:

Critical assistance with economic reforms, including by cushioning their impact on vulnerable Ukrainians; Conducting free, fair, and inclusive elections; Combating corruption and recovering stolen assets, and “withstanding politically motivated trade actions by Russia, including in the area of energy.”

â€" Christine Hauser