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article imageCIA chief visits Kiev as Ukraine threatens force against protests

By Ken Hanly     Apr 15, 2014 in World
Kiev - As the protests in eastern Ukraine continue with Ukraine threatening to use force to disperse protests and occupations, CIA director John Brennan visited the Ukrainian capital over the weekend.
Jay Carney, White House press secretary, confirmed that Brennan had been in the capital Kiev over the weekend as earlier Russian media reports had claimed. Carney says the visit was part of a trip to Europe. The ousted former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich has accused the CIA of being responsible for the Ukrainian decision to use force against the protests. The CIA denies the charge. Carney says that the U.S. is also conferring with its EU allies to plan more sanctions against Russia after what it calls more provocations in the Ukraine. Yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russian president Putin against any further disruption in the eastern Ukraine even as the EU and US were planning more sanctions against Russia.
There are conflicting reports as to whether the U.S. will provide arms aid to Ukraine to counter Russian threats. White House officials say that Obama plans to call Putin and assure him that the U.S. will not provide "lethal aid" to help in a crackdown against secessionists. However, top State Department aide Thomas Shannon says that sending military equipment to the Ukraine is obviously still being considered.
Yesterday US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew signed a $1 billion loan guarantee. The US would pay the $1 billion if Ukraine defaults on its IMF loan. The IMF announced back in March that it would loan Ukraine up to $18 billion over the next two years but only under conditions that demands austerity measures that will hurt most Ukrainians and lead to a predicted 3 percent decline in GDP for 2014.
Andrey Kelin the Russian envoy to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE) claimed that any use of force by the Ukrainian government against protesters could lead to civil war:"The (Ukrainian) acting minister of the interior has said that armed forces will be used against those who are in the manifestations and also there are units being organized of paramilitary people who will be given weapons and who will be under command of the officers. It will be, as we heard, nearly 12,000 of these people. This is dangerous, In Moscow we strongly believe it might lead to a civil war. We are very worried".
More about John Brennan, Protests in East Ukraine, US aid to Ukraine
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