03/04/2014 09:43 EST | Updated 05/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta gives money, moral support, to Ukraine during showdown with Russia

EDMONTON - The Alberta government says it will provide up to $100,000 in humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

The province says the matching funding will come from Alberta Culture's International Development Program as it stands with the federal government in opposing all efforts to undermine democracy and freedom in Ukraine.

Premier Alison Redford says in a release that Alberta — home to more than a quarter of a million residents of Ukrainian descent — stands beside the people of Ukraine at a time of conflict and uncertainty.

The province also says it's working with Ottawa to stay up to date on developments in the eastern European nation and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Word of the aid comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the West of encouraging an anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine, saying Moscow reserves the right to use all means to protect Russians there.

Russian forces back have been pulled back from the Ukrainian border, but pro-Russia forces still occupy Crimea and Putin says any sanctions the West places on Russia will backfire.