The Russians had dangled their multi-billion euro carrot - then swiftly removed it pending further details of who is really running the show (demanding a crackdown on the extremists who are trying to establish power).
The Europeans have promised an even bigger carrot - predicated on, we presume, total abdication of sovereignty.
But now the Americans are jumping in - Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "urged" Ukraine's interim leader Yatsenyuk to start talks with the IMF as he and Lagarde agreed the fund would be the best foundation for advice and financing (if sought by a fully established Ukrainian government).
Just this morning, Ukraine explained it needed $35 billion over the next 2 years...
The Russians have made it clear they are not amused... (via Interfax)
Moscow on Monday urged the Ukrainians to bring back the situation in their country into "the legal framework" and "crack down on the extremists who are trying to get established in power."
"We earnestly call upon all those who are involved in the crisis in Ukraine to show the maximum sense of responsibility, to take action to prevent the further degradation of the situation, to bring it back into the legal framework, and to crack down on the extremists who are trying to get established in power," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website, www.mid.ru.
The ministry expressed "extreme anxiety" over current developments in Ukraine.
"In the last few days, the capital and some other cities in the country have been sites of armed clashes between young rioters and militants from ultra-right nationalist organizations and law enforcement units that were defending the security of civilians and national interests," it said.
"The militants have not been disarmed, refuse to leave the streets of the cities that they de facto control and to vacate administrative buildings, and continue acts of violence," the ministry said.
"The agreement of February 21 on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine is not being complied with, though its signature was authenticated by the ministers of foreign affairs of Germany, Poland and France whereas the United States and the European Union, and other international structures have welcomed this document," the statement said.
The Europeans, we presume, are hiding behind the IMF/US
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Ukrainian leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk that Ukraine has support for an international aid package centered on the International Monetary Fund and urged him to seek assistance, a Treasury official said.
Lew and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde agreed that the fund would be the best foundation for advice and financing if sought by a fully established Ukrainian government, the official said in an e-mailed statement.
Lew and Lagarde spoke on the way back to Washington from a meeeting of the Group of 20 nations in Sydney.
and to apply a little more pressure:
- *S&P DOWNGRADES THREE UKRAINIAN BANKS TO 'CCC'; OUTLOOKS NEG
But it seems we have an answer... (from the newly-installed Ukraine central bank chief)
- *UKRAINE'S KUBIV PLANS TO INVITE IMF MISSION, UNIAN SAYS
Which means only one thing: Russia's locked out and gas prices are about to skyrocket...
And of course, now the US realizes it might have Russia on the ropes...
- MCCAIN, SENIOR U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR, SAYS U.S. MUST BE READY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE
“I am proud and overjoyed for the people of Ukraine. Their struggle for democracy, justice, and a European future is far from over, and it has come at a heavy price. But thanks to the sacrifice of many Ukrainian patriots, there is now new hope for Ukraine again.
“During this challenging time, the Ukrainian people have been fortunate to have dedicated friends. I commend the tireless efforts of U.S. Ambassador Geoff Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. From Brussels to Berlin, Paris to Warsaw, Vilnius to Budapest, European leaders have also played an important role. I have spoken in recent days to Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, all of whom were grateful for the international support that Ukraine has received.
“Now more than ever, the Ukrainian people need the continued support of their friends. The country is on the brink of economic crisis, and a host of difficult challenges awaits the new government and the Rada. Urgent reforms are needed to address many of the country’s unsustainable monetary, fiscal, and energy policies. Additional actions are needed to crack down on corruption, bolster the rule of law, deepen democratic institutions, and prepare for early elections. The path of reform will be difficult, but if the new Ukrainian government is prepared to make these tough – and, at times, unpopular – decisions, it will need significant assistance from the IMF and the European Union. The United States must be ready to provide additional assistance as well.
“The Ukrainian people will also need the unwavering support of their friends on behalf of their country’s sovereignty, national unity, and territorial integrity. It is deeply concerning that some in Ukraine and Russia seem to be calling these principles into question. None of us should forget that Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly questioned whether Ukraine is an independent country and whether Crimea is Ukrainian territory. Recent media reports, based on newly uncovered documents, allege that Russian intelligence officials were advising Ukrainian security forces in planning violent crackdowns. Ukraine’s future is for the Ukrainian people to determine, and the free world must send the unequivocal message that Ukrainian territory is inviolable and indivisible.
“While the road ahead is fraught with many challenges and dangers, the Ukrainian people have created a new opportunity to pursue their dream of a democratic, prosperous, and European future. The United States and all of Ukraine’s friends must stand with them.”