KIEV, Ukraine, March 3 (UPI) -- Ukraine's interim government has asked the International Monetary Fund for a $15 billion emergency rescue package, agreeing to take unpopular steps to comply with the international lender's conditions.
The IMF is initiating a ten-day visit to finalize a bailout package for the nation that has been at the center of a possible invasion from Russia. Ukraine's economy minister Pavlo Sheremeta said the government was looking to lock in a two-year loan for the international lender, based on an earlier bailout package.
The request was made last week after opposition protestors successfully removed pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych in order to stabilize the economy, which is already on the brink. The U.S. and other European countries have given their support to Ukraine's new government and want to prop up the economy and not repeat the economic and political missteps that helped spark the current turmoil.
This is not the first time the country has requested an emergency bailout package. A previous bailout was discontinued after Ukraine refused to comply with key conditions linked to the deal, such a removal of gas subsidies and a reduction in government expenditure.
Ukrainians do not seem happy with the conditions the IMF lays out for any such package, with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseyuk on Monday calling them “harsh demands.” But he also said that the country would take the necessary step required to secure the loan.