US plans $1 billion in Ukraine loan guarantees

Secretary of State John Kerry
Evan Vucci | AFP | Getty Images

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the United States plans to provide Ukraine with $1 billion in loan guarantees and will consider additional direct assistance to the former Soviet republic.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Kerry said it was "urgent to move forward" in assisting Ukraine after the ouster of its Russian-backed president. But he said it was also urgent for Ukraine's interim authorities to enact reforms, curb corruption, and prepare free and fair elections.

The U.S. aid would be part of an international assistance package that was expected to include European contributions, as well as loans from global financial institutions.

—By The Associated Press