U.S. eyes $1 billion in Ukraine loan guarantees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States is planning to provide Ukraine with $1 billion in loan guarantees and will consider additional direct assistance to the former Soviet republic.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department on Wednesday, Kerry said it was "urgent to move forward" in assisting Ukraine following the ouster of its Russian-backed president. But he said it was also urgent for Ukraine's interim authorities to enact reforms, curb corruption, and prepare free and fair elections.

The U.S. aid would be part of a planned massive international assistance package that was expected to include European contributions as well as loans from global financial institutions.