The U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs said Friday that her country and the international community would provide financial aid to Ukraine if it undertakes political reforms and makes progress in the defense of human rights.
Victoria Nuland made the remarks in a press conference in Kiev, saying that "nobody is going to give economic support from the U.S. or the (International Monetary Fund) or from Europe to an unreformed Ukraine."
Nuland, who traveled to the Eastern European country to seek a solution to its ongoing political crisis, met during her visit to the Ukrainian capital with President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders.
Asked about Russian politician and economist Sergei Glazyev's allegations that Ukrainian opposition activists were receiving military training on the premises of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, she said the Kremlin adviser could be a "science fiction" writer.
She added that the United States' policy with respect to the Ukraine was absolutely "transparent."
It is in Washington's interest for Kiev and Moscow to have peaceful political and economic relations but Ukraine must act independently of its neighbor, Nuland said.
Ukraine's current crisis erupted at the end of November after Yanukovych - under pressure from Russia, its leading trade partner - backed away from plans to ink a trade pact with the European Union and instead signed a $15 billion financial-aid package with Moscow.
Pro-Europe protesters took to the streets in downtown Kiev and began occupying administrative buildings, prompting Ukraine's Parliament, controlled by Yanukovych's allies, to pass a package of laws on Jan. 16 restricting freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and other basic rights.
Violent clashes pitting demonstrators and anti-riot police broke out three days later and left six dead and hundreds wounded.
In the wake of the bloodshed, Ukrainian authorities and opposition leaders began seeking a negotiated solution to the crisis.
Those talks have led to the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and the repeal of the controversial anti-protest laws, but opposition demonstrators are still demanding that Yanukovych step down and early elections be held. EFE