The U.S. is set to authorize a loan of up to a $1 billion to Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Deep in the 1,600-page House appropriations bill to fund the federal government through September, Republican lawmakers have detailed plans to authorize up to $640 million in assistance for Ukraine, most of which can be used to guarantee Ukrainian loans. The funding bill was unveiled late Tuesday night and it’s set for a House vote Thursday.A House GOP aide said the administration hasn’t formally requested a loan guarantee, but said the legislation authorizes enough money to leverage at least $1 billion in loan guarantees if needed. […]The Obama administration hasn’t finalized a new financing strategy for Ukraine, and it is unclear how much the administration plans to commit to Kiev. State Department officials weren’t immediately able to respond, and the U.S. Treasury Department declined to comment on its financing plans for Ukraine.U.S. and European officials have considered in recent days a short-term package of $4 billion, half of which would come from Europe. But longer-term financing needs are still being evaluated.
This is laudable on the part of the US, but it’s just a drop in the ocean of Ukrainian financial woes. The legislation comes just days after the IMF found a $15 billion “hole” in Ukraine’s finances, nearly doubling the estimated total outlay of $17 billion that the IMF has already committed to. And Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk warned today that Kiev is at risk of defaulting. It will take a much bigger effort to keep Kiev’s head above water.