We should open chequebook to rebuild Ukraine, says Osborne: Chancellor offers millions to new government
- Chancellor: ‘UK willing to pour taxpayers’ money to help new government’
- ‘We are here ready to help as soon as someone at end of telephone’
- Ukraine may need a bailout since it has a dire ‘CCC’ credit rating
By TIM SHIPMAN
PUBLISHED: 23:46, 23 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:04, 24 February 2014
George Osborne offered the Ukraine a blank cheque last night to turn the ravaged country around
George Osborne offered the Ukraine a blank cheque last night to turn the ravaged country around.
The Chancellor said the UK is willing to pour millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to prop up the new government.
Speaking at a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Australia, Mr Osborne said: ‘We are here ready to help just as soon as there is someone at the end of the telephone.
‘We should be there with a chequebook to help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country.’
Last night it was unclear how much cash might be provided but Britain is likely to contribute to stability funds being put together by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Since the uprising on Saturday ousted the Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine no longer has access to a £9billion handout from Moscow.
Ukraine may need a bailout since it has a dire ‘CCC’ credit rating, but British taxpayers may not take kindly to assisting a country with huge natural resources including oil, whose former president spent millions on a vulgar palace while his people suffered.
IMF boss Christine Lagarde also suggested that Western taxpayers may help Ukraine get back on its feet. She said: ‘If it needs policy advice, financial support and wants to actually undertake a reform of its economy the IMF will help.’
The offers of financial assistance came as the new rulers of Ukraine were last night preparing to arrest ousted President Viktor Yanukovych for corruption and ordering the shooting of unarmed opposition protesters.
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