By David Jones NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - A key aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie testified on Friday in a far-reaching criminal investigation into the September 2013 lane closures near the George Washington Bridge, media reported. Michael Drewniak, a longtime spokesman for the embattled moderate Republican, a possible contender for the White House in 2016, spoke for about two hours before 23 members of a federal grand jury at a U.S. courthouse in Newark, ABC News reported. It did not report specifics on what Drewniak said, though he is not a target of the investigation. Christie was widely considered a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 after winning reelection in heavily Democratic New Jersey last year.
Vice President Joe Biden vowed the US would work with Ukraine and other allies to prevent countries like Russia from using energy as a "political weapon." In a telephone call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Biden said aid from the United States and other countries would help Ukraine "meet its most pressing needs," the White House said in a statement. On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed a bill providing Kiev with $1 billion in loan guarantees, amid the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War. The International Monetary Fund last month announced a $14-$18 billion bailout for Ukraine on Thursday that imposes tough economic conditions that will alter the lives Ukrainians who have grown accustomed to the comforts of Soviet-era subsidies and welfare benefits.