U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew Remarks in Kyiv (as prepared)

KYIV – Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Finance Minister Jaresko, thank you for welcoming me back to Ukraine and for sharing your views on Ukraine’s economy and the next steps in Ukraine’s reform effort.  I have greatly appreciated the hospitality and candid exchange of ideas extended by you and your colleagues.

This is my second trip to Kyiv this year, and I am here to underscore U.S. support for the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for an independent, secure, and prosperous country, and to hear first-hand about the government’s reform priorities and the challenges facing Ukraine.

The United States continues to work closely with the IMF, the EU, the G-7, and other donors to provide the support necessary to enable Ukraine’s reform program to succeed.

We are also working with the U.S. Congress to provide a third $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee to Ukraine in the coming months, which will help reinforce Ukraine’s reform agenda.

During our meetings today, we discussed the economic future of Ukraine.  The nation’s economy has shown tentative signs of stabilization, and it is critical to build on this positive momentum through sustained and strong implementation of the government’s reform program.

The international community is watching the policy debate in Ukraine very closely.

The Ukrainian government and parliament must remain disciplined in implementing the government’s reform strategy, and resist pressure to slide back on these critical efforts.

This continued commitment to reform is important to ensure support from international partners and further strengthen the credibility that the government has established over the last eighteen months.

In particular, Ukraine’s success in tackling corruption is considered a gauge of the government’s commitment to breaking with the old ways of doing business in Ukraine.

This government has shown its commitment to enhance its capacity to fight corruption, but knows that more must be done.

Finally, the United States will work with its international partners to maintain sanctions pressure on Russia and Russian-backed separatists until they fully implement their obligations under the Minsk agreements, including restoration of the international border.  And so long as Russia illegally occupies Crimea, our Crimea sanctions will remain in place.

Thank you again, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and Finance Minister Jaresko, and I look forward to continuing to work together.