IMF loans Ukraine $17 billion

By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   May 1, 2014 at 3:47 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, May 1 (UPI) -- The International Military Fund (IMF) has approved a $17 billion dollar loan to Ukraine so the country may avoid default and economic collapse.

The loan will be paid over 2 years in installments as Ukraine continues to meet the requirements and reforms set forth by Director Christine Lagarde and the IMF.

"It [Ukraine] has demonstrated over the last few weeks that it can undertake comprehensive reforms and has actually addressed some of the issues that have been outstanding for a long time," said Lagarde in a press conference. "Urgent action was necessary. Decisive measures were taken by Ukraine and decisive measures have just been taken by the IMF."

Ukraine's economy has fallen into recession with the financial sector under significant pressure as the interim government attempts to stabilize the country.

The initial installment of $3.2 billion will be just enough to cover the $2.2 billion gas bill to Russia and keep the country out of default. The gas debt to Russia has added fuel to the fire as tensions escalate over the presence of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the fear of imminent invasion from the Russian military remains palpable.

Ukraine already owes money to the IMF but the new loan can be used to pay if off.

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