US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Russia on Wednesday that its actions in Ukraine have put its role in the elite Group of Eight club of leading nations at risk. With Russia to host a summit of G8 leaders in Sochi in June, Lew linked its incursion into Ukraine's Crimea and interventions in the country's politics to Moscow's continuing position in the G8. "We are on a path where I think it's clear Russia cannot sit in Sochi at G8 meetings while it's pursuing the policies that it's now pursuing," Lew told a Senate committee. "Russia has to be held accountable for the actions it has taken, and also has to have a path to step back from what is a dangerous escalation," Lew said.
The United States plans to expand military cooperation with Poland and Baltic states to show "support" for its allies after Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Wednesday. "This morning the Defense Department is pursuing measures to support our allies," including expanded aviation training in Poland and increasing the US role in NATO's air policing mission over Baltic countries, Hagel told lawmakers.
By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Republicans will work with President Barack Obama to address the crisis in Ukraine and tensions with Russia, voting soon on legislation offering financial aid, House leaders said on Wednesday. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House would vote soon on a $1 billion loan guarantee package for Ukraine and will consider measures to "put significant pressure on Russia to stop the flagrant aggression to its neighbor in Ukraine. ...
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will address this year's crop of Harvard University graduates at their May 29 commencement, the Ivy League university said on Wednesday. Harvard officials said they chose Bloomberg, a Boston native who earned his M.B.A. at Harvard Business School, because of his unique career, ranging from building the data and news company that bears his name to elected office. "Mike Bloomberg's career represents a rare blend of public leadership, private-sector entrepreneurship and powerful philanthropic engagement," said Harvard President Drew Faust. Bloomberg has also been an advocate for gun control, forming lobbying group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Washington on Tuesday announced a $1 billion support package for debt-laden Ukraine as US Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-profile foreign diplomat to visit Kiev's new interim government amid a Cold-War style standoff with Russia. Stepping up the rhetoric against Russia, Kerry accused Moscow of looking for a "pretext" to invade Ukraine and condemned Russia's intervention on the flashpoint Crimean peninsula as an "act of aggression". Kerry's trip and the announcement of financial aid seemed designed to highlight Washington's determination to support the authorities in Kiev as the West grapples to bring under control the most serious crisis in the region since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.