SYDNEY U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has encouraged Ukraine to begin discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on an assistance package as soon as possible once a transitional government is in place in Kiev.
Lew spoke with Arseny Yatsenyuk, a member of Ukraine's interim leadership, while returning to Washington from the G20 meeting in Sydney, where there was broad support for an IMF-based package, according to a Treasury official.
The United States, 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, the official said.
Ukraine's interim leadership pledged on Sunday to put the country back on course for European integration now Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich had been ousted from the presidency.
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Paul Tait)