Details of the package were being hammered out, but Senator Chris
Murphy, chairman of a Senate subcommittee on European Affairs, said
the package would be part of "a broader, coordinated program" with
the European Union, International Monetary Fund and other
"I encourage the new government to implement the necessary economic
reforms to stabilize the economy and set Ukraine on a path to
prosperity, including rooting out corruption and increasing
transparency in government finances," the Connecticut Democrat said
in a statement.
"Ukraine's leading industrialists might also consider how they can
play a helpful role in stabilizing the economy," Murphy said.
To become law, an assistance package would need to pass the Senate
and the House of Representatives, before being sent to the White
House for President Barack Obama's signature.
Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign
Affairs Committee, said he would be interested in discussing the
Ukraine package with the Senate in order to submit a similar measure
in the House.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on events in
Ukraine and U.S. foreign policy there on March 6.
Lawmakers said they felt Congress needed to support Ukraine's
democracy and independence and encourage it and other eastern
European countries to strengthen their ties to the west, rather than
President Vladimir Putin's Russia.
[to top of second column]
"We have to send a very strong message to Putin," Engel told
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States had warned
Russia not to inflame the situation in Ukraine.
The Senate and House have already approved non-binding resolutions
supporting democracy in Ukraine. Murphy and Republican Arizona
Senator John McCain traveled to Kiev in December and addressed
crowds of anti-government protesters.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio)
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