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Remarks By Treasury's Lew On Ukraine To House Panel

Published on 08 March 2014

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by Office of the Spokesperson


Washington, D.C.

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Washington, D.C.
March 6, 2014

Testimony of Secretary Lew before the House Ways and Means Committee on the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

As prepared for delivery

Before I begin, let me say a few words about the situation in Ukraine. President Obama has explained in no uncertain terms, that the steps Russia has taken violate Ukraine’s sovereignty, Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and are a breach of international law. As the President announced this morning, he has signed an Executive Order to authorize sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for activities that undermine the democratic process, threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, or misappropriate state assets within Ukraine. This E.O. is a flexible tool that will allow us to sanction those who are most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine, including the military intervention in Crimea, and does not preclude further steps should the situation deteriorate.

These sanctions build upon the previous actions that the United States has taken but, at the same time, as the President has said, we are prepared to work with all parties to de-escalate the situation and we call on Russia to take the necessary actions to resolve this crisis. It is in Russia, the United States, and the world’s interest to have a stable and prosperous Ukraine. As the Ukrainian government prepares for elections in May, it is critical that the international community work together to support its efforts to restore economic stability.

I have spoken with the Ukrainian Prime Minister a number of times now, and he has told me that the government is ready to adopt vital economic reforms. We have been working closely with international partners and Congress to develop an assistance package that will help the Ukrainian government implement the reforms needed to restore financial stability and return to economic growth. As part of this international effort, the United States has developed a package of bilateral assistance focused on meeting Ukraine’s most pressing needs. This package will include $1 billion in loan guarantees and IMF quota legislation, which would support the IMF's capacity to lend additional resources to Ukraine and help preserve continued U.S. leadership within this important institution at a critical time.

While the United States will not increase our total financial commitment to the IMF by approving the 2010 reforms, it is important to note that for every dollar the United States contributes to the IMF, other countries provide four dollars more.

At a time when the U.S. is at the forefront of international calls in urging the Fund to play a central and active first responder role in Ukraine, it is imperative that we secure passage of IMF legislation now so we can show support for the IMF in this critical moment and preserve our leading influential voice in the institution.


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Posted 2014-03-08 18:29:00