West boosts Ukraine aid as Russia bridles at sanctions

A Ukrainian tank sits near the town of Nikishyne, southeast of Debaltseve, on March 11, 2015The IMF handed Ukraine a $17.5 billion lifeline as the United States agreed to send military aid to bolster its forces against pro-Russian rebels — but stopped short of promising weapons. The United States also expanded the reach of its economic sanctions, targeting a Russian bank and separatist officials in eastern Ukraine — a move Moscow branded a “political provocation” that would only worsen the crisis. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the increased US support in the face of what he called the separatists’ “barbaric aggression,” despite Washington snubbing growing calls for arms and ammunition.

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