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Ukraine's hryvnia at all-time low against the dollar, IMF loan essential says new PM

Ukraine's hryvnia at all-time low against the dollar, IMF loan essential says new PM
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Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, fell to a new record low against the dollar on Thursday.

It has been falling in value for weeks due to the political and economic uncertainty in the country.

But the decline accelerated after parliament stripped President Viktor Yanukovych of his powers on Saturday.

Ukraine’s central bank said it was not going to buy the hryvnia to support it – anyway it is running out of foreign currency reserves to do that.

Economists believe devaluation is justified given the country’s economic circumstances.

Ukraine’s new prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said securing a loan agreement with the International Monetary fund is vital for the country to stabilise the hryvnia.

He told parliament: “We need immediately to sign an agreement with the IMF. As soon as a deal on an IMF programme has been signed, money will come for our reserves and we will be able to stabilise the exchange rate.”

IMF visit sought

Ukraine’s new finance minister said on Thursday he hoped an International Monetary Fund mission would visit Ukraine next week to work on a new aid package of at least $15 billion (10.96 billion euros) for the former Soviet republic.

“Today we requested the IMF send a mission and we hope that it will be here next week,” the minister, Oleksander Shlapak, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

“It will be a new programme. We will be asking for at least $15 billion and then it will become clear,” he added.