WASHINGTON Treasury officials and economic advisers will accompany Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on a trip to Ukraine this week as the country struggles to form a new government and rescue its economy after the removal its Russia-allied president.
The State Department said representatives from Treasury and the National Economic Council would travel with Burns on the visit to Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It said in a statement they would work with European Union and International Monetary Fund representatives to discuss financial support while the new government "implements the difficult steps necessary to reform the economy."
Ukraine's interim leadership pledged to put the country back on course for European integration now that President Viktor Yanukovich had been ousted. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovich on Monday.
Burns, whose trip had been previously announced and will include a stop in Istanbul on Monday, will meet with Ukrainian political leaders, the business community and civil society representatives.
"He will urge the rapid formation of a national unity government that represents the wide array of stakeholders in Ukraine's domestic political discourse, and encourage immediate steps to undertake the critical reforms necessary to restore Ukraine's political and economic health," the department said.
The United States is encouraging Ukraine to begin discussions with the IMF on an assistance package as soon as possible once a transitional government is in place, but has made clear it is prepared to consider other backing outside that arrangement.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew spoke with Arseny Yatsenyuk, a member of Ukraine's interim leadership, while returning to Washington from the G20 meeting in Sydney over the weekend, where there was broad support for an IMF-based package, a Treasury official said.
The official said that Washington, together with Europe and others in the international community, were ready to supplement an IMF program to cushion the impact of reforms on low-income Ukrainians.
(Additional reporting by Lincoln Feast in Sydney; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Storey and Meredith Mazzilli)