EU offers medium-term loans to Ukraine

March 19, 2014 at 9:54 AM
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BRUSSELS, March 19 (UPI) -- Lending a financial hand to Ukraine is a safeguard that will ensure stability on the European continent, a European monetary official said Wednesday.

The European Commission said Wednesday it proposed a package of $1.4 billion in medium-term loans to help the cash-strapped Ukrainian government.

Olli Rehn, vice president of the European Commission responsible for economic and monetary affairs, said the loans are part of a broader effort to control the crisis in Ukraine.

"It is in the essential interest of Ukraine and of the EU to maintain peace and political and financial stability in our continent," he said in a statement.

Ukraine's new government said ousted President Viktor Yanukovych left the economy in ruin.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said a team of economic advisers would stay in Kiev to negotiate the terms of future assistance.

A fact-finding mission from the IMF is in Kiev through Friday. Lagarde said last week her team was working with Ukrainian leaders to develop a policy for sustainable economic growth.

"This financial aid will help in stabilizing the worsening financial situation in Ukraine and therefore will be one vital part of achieving a solution to the crisis," added Rehn.

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