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Economy

IMF to decide on Ukraine financial package

The International Monetary Fund has said it will consider a funding package for Ukraine after receiving the necessary documents. Any financial backing will require Kyiv to introduce tough austerity measures.

The IMF said on Thursday that its board would meet on April 30 to consider an aid package, saying it was not in a position to consider whether Ukraine would meet the conditions.

"We're in the process of completing the steps necessary for board consideration," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters. "Staff are checking these documents to verify the details, (to see) if they're in line with the program understanding."

that it would provide $14 billion to $18 billion (10.1 to 13 billion euros), over two years, to help the country out of its financial woes. A more exact figure is expected to be decided at the meeting next week.

The IMF promise has helped, at least in part, to halt the rise of which - after economic stagnation and corruption - had soared amid widespread political unrest in the country.

IMF undaunted

It is expected that the IMF assistance will unlock a further $15 billion in additional international aid over the same two years.

Announcing the meeting, the US-based IMF said heightened tension between Moscow and Kyiv over events in Ukraine's eastern regions would not deter fund representatives from doing their job.

"It's not uncommon for the IMF to be working in a politically tense or fragile situation," said Rice. He added that, in making its data calculations, the IMF continued to include Crimea in Ukraine rather than Russia, with Moscow's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula branded illegal by the US and Europe.

Last month, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned that Ukraine was "on the brink of economic and financial bankruptcy."

The IMF loan is contingent on reforms which include raising taxes, freezing the minimum wage and allowing a hike in energy prices.

rc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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