Ukraine’s president urged security services to resume an offensive to uproot militants in the east as an agreement with Russia to ease tensions neared collapse after a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Kiev.
Russia, the world’s biggest natural gas exporter, increased pressure on Ukraine over its $2.2 billion fuel debt as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden voiced support for the smaller country to gain energy independence.
The International Monetary Fund’s executive board will receive within days a staff report detailing Ukraine’s proposed loan program, in an effort to approve emergency financing by early May, a board official said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes U.S. President Barack Obama is a “decent and brave man” who would save him from drowning, even as the two leaders failed to form “very close” personal relationship.
Present and past owners of OAO Bank Rossiya, the only company hit with sanctions for Russia’s takeover of Crimea, include three billionaires, two proteges of a Nobel Laureate and, according to a Spanish prosecutor, one possible mob boss.
Ukraine unleashed an offensive to dislodge militants from cities in the eastern Donetsk region as authorities in the capital Kiev said Russian special forces were identified among the anti-government groups.