Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, walk near the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 3, 2014. Ukraine mobilised for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbour in Moscow's biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War. Russian forces have already bloodlessly seized Crimea, an isolated Black Sea peninsula where Moscow has a naval base.

Washington - Finance ministers from the Group of Seven rich nations on Sunday pledged to throw a financial lifeline to Ukraine as long as the new government in Kiev agreed to pursue economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund.

“We are united in our commitment to provide strong financial backing to Ukraine,” the G7 ministers said in a joint statement. “The transition to a new government in Ukraine offers a unique opportunity to put in place urgently needed market-oriented reforms.”

The G7 said the IMF, which is sending a team to Kiev this week, needed to be in the forefront of efforts to help Ukraine with both policy advice and financing to help it through its most-pressing economic challenges.

“IMF support will be critical in unlocking additional assistance from the World Bank, other international financial institutions, the EU, and bilateral sources,” the ministers said.

“We are also committed to mobilise rapid technical assistance to support Ukraine in addressing its macroeconomic, regulatory, and anti-corruption challenges,” it added.

The G7 comprises the United States, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy and Britain. - Reuters