March 27 - The West offers Ukraine a multi-billion dollar lifeline in a show of support after Russia's annexation of Crimea. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A lifeline for Ukraine. Ukraine wins a 27-billion dollar international show of support Thursday, rushed through in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea. The International Monetary Fund announced a $14-18 billion standby credit for Kiev in return for tough economic reforms. That will unlock further aid from the EU, the US and other lenders over two years, effectively pulling Kiev closer to Europe. On Thursday the U.S. Congress passed bills to provide a one billion loan guarantee for Kiev. U.S. President Barack Obama offers his support at a news conference in Italy. (SOUNDBITE) (English)US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "We are going to do everything we can to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people." Raising the political temperature, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko says she will run again for President. She was released from jail last month after her arch-rival former President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev. The declaration sets up a contest with boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, who has also announced his candidacy. The international rescue for Ukraine is in sharp contrast to Western measures to isolate Russia diplomatically and impose sanctions. On Thursday the U.N. General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution declaring Crimea's Moscow-backed referendum earlier this month invalid.