A top U.S. diplomat says the United States is helping Ukraine comb through a "treasure trove" of documents recovered from the government of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in order to prosecute corrupt officials.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Department of Justice officials were helping to "exploit" the documents so that law enforcement authorities can make cases against "corrupt officials both in Ukrainian courts and in international courts."
Nuland was speaking on April 9 at a hearing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, on the situation in Ukraine.
Yanukovych opponents seized potentially incriminating documents after his government collapsed in late February, including hundreds left behind at his lavish residence outside Kyiv.
Many of the documents were found floating in a reservoir near the grounds, an apparent attempt by Yanukovych's fleeing aides to destroy them.
Nuland also said Washington had low expectations for the planned four-way talks between Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the European Union.
"We don't have high expectations for these talks, but we do believe it is very important to keep that diplomatic door open, and we'll see what they bring," she said.
Nuland said Washington trusted evidence indicating Moscow's role in the takeovers of government buildings by pro-Russian protesters this week in eastern Ukraine, but did not accuse Russia outright.
"I don't think that we have any doubt that the preponderance of evidence indicates direct Russian involvement here, but in this setting I'm not prepared to go further," Nuland told the hearing.