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Russia ready to help Ukraine's economy: Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press at the State Department in Washington on February 28, 2014Russia is ready to help Ukraine as it seeks to stave off economic collapse, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday after talking with his Russian counterpart. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated during a Friday phone call “that they are prepared to be engaged and be involved in helping to deal with the economic transition that needs to take place at this point,” Kerry told reporters. The top US diplomat said he had stressed during the call with Lavrov the urgent need to focus on Ukraine’s economy as the IMF prepares to send a fact-finding mission to the cash-strapped country. On Monday, Ukraine’s new leaders, who took over after the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, said the country needs $35 billion to support the government’s needs and avoid defaulting on its debt.

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