(QHA) -

EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton has been quoted as saying the EU and United States were working on a large financial-aid plan for Ukraine, Radio Liberty reports.

Ashton told "The Wall Street Journal" the aid would be aimed at helping Ukraine during a transition period, when an interim government could approve political and economic reforms ahead of a presidential election now scheduled for next year.

The amount of aid "won't be small," Ashton said, and will not require Ukraine to conclude a long-term agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

She said the package might not only consist of money but could also contain "guarantees" or help on investment or shoring up the currency, though she did not elaborate.

Ashton visited Ukraine last week to try to promote dialogue between the government and opposition.

Ukraine has witnessed nearly daily demonstrations since November, when Yanukovych abruptly backed away from a long-awaited agreement to deepen ties with the European Union.

QHA