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IMF approves 15.5 billion euro loan for Ukraine

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By Alasdair Sandford  with Reuters
IMF approves 15.5 billion euro loan for Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has approved a four-year aid programme for Ukraine worth around $17.5 billion (15.5 billion euros).

The country’s plight was on the agenda as heads of the world’s other leading financial institutions met in Berlin, where IMF chief Christine Lagarde issued a statement.

Five billion dollars is to be paid immediately to help stabilise Ukraine’s ailing economy.

The IMF loan is linked to pledges to implement reforms and cut spending.

New measures have been signed into law this week aimed at reducing public spending and introducing changes to the tax system.

“This is a four-year programme in response to the reforms undertaken in Ukraine and which obliged us not to stop and to move forward,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Separately, Sweden has offered Ukraine a loan of $100 million (95 million euros).

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was in Kyiv to sign the deal, which comes on top of a renewed aid agreement worth almost 25 million euros a year until 2020.

Sweden is hopeful the loan can be paid at the beginning of 2016.

The prime minister added that Sweden would continue backing sanctions against Russia, which is accused of backing rebels in eastern Ukraine.