The United States on Wednesday signed an agreement providing war-torn Ukraine with $2 billion in loan guarantees to help it with “near-term social spending” in 2015 and said it was prepared to step up sanctions against Russia if necessary.

After signing the loan agreement with Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew referred to Russian support for separatists in Ukraine which has led to the United States and the European Union imposing sanctions on Russia.

Saying the United States was opposing “Russian aggression,” Lew went on: “We remain prepared to do more (on sanctions) if necessary. To that end, we will continue to work with our allies to increase the pressure on Russia.” (Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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