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“Imf Approves $17bn Aid Deal for Ukraine”
by The Telegraph   
May 1st, 2014

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $17bn aid deal for Ukraine, even as Kiev fights to prevent pro-Moscow separatists from hiving off another chunk of the country.

The IMF executive board’s green light opens the way for an immediate deployment of $3.2bn to Kiev, which faces deep fiscal problems, compounding its political crisis.

Part of a $27bon bailout including the World Bank, European Union and others, the IMF said the rescue plan “aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen economic governance and transparency, and launch sound and sustainable economic growth, while protecting the most vulnerable”.

The Fund has warned though that the Ukraine economy faces a 5pc contraction this year, even with the two-year loan programme.

Some of the initial disbursements could be turned around to pay off an outstanding $2.2bn bill for natural gas from Russia, which has threatened to cut off fuel supplies to its former Soviet republic.

In addition, the country already owes the IMF under previous loan programs and the Fund’s new loan could be tapped to repay off that.

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