IMF approves $17.5B loan program for Ukraine

Updated: 2015-03-12 10:10


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WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund's board on Wednesday approved a new aid program involving 17.5 billion US dollars in loan for Ukraine.

"This new four-year extended arrangement will support immediate economic stabilization in Ukraine and a set of deep and wide- ranging policy reforms aimed at restoring robust growth over the medium term and improving living standards for the Ukrainian people," the IMF chief Christine Lagarde said in a statement Wednesday.

Under the program, the IMF will allocate 5 billion US dollars of immediate disbursement for general budget support to the country.

The four-year financial aid program replaces an existing one approved by the global lender in April 2014.

The new program is consistent with the more protracted nature of Ukraine's balance-of-payment needs, and will provide more funding, more time, more flexibility and better financing terms for Ukraine, said Lagarde.

The IMF loan is expected to unlock further credits from other donors. The IMF said in February that the combined package of assistance from other bilateral lenders and multilateral institutions is estimated at 40 billion dollars.

Ukraine has also taken actions to consult with existing bondholders on possible debt restructuring in order to improve medium-term sustainability.