U.S. signs 1-billion-dollar loan guarantee agreement for Ukraine

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday signed a 1 billion dollar loan guarantee agreement for Ukraine, as part of the international effort led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support the country’s economy, the Treasury Department said.

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The Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced the signing after meeting with Ukrainian finance minister Oleksandr Shlapak on the ongoing situation in Ukraine and progress in its economic reform plan.

“I would like to congratulate Minister Shlapak on the progress he and his team have made in putting in place a comprehensive economic reform program together with the IMF. The United States very much wants to see Ukraine prosper, and we will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people as they move forward to realize their long-held aspirations,” said Lew.

The U.S. Congress earlier this month passed a legislation to provide economic assistance to Ukraine.

The 1 billion dollar loan guarantee is part of a U.S. bilateral assistance package that also includes technical assistance to help Ukraine return to a path of economic recovery, the Treasury noted.

In a statement following the meeting with Ukrainian officials, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Ukraine has made ” good progress” in implementing the policy actions, and completion of the actions is a prerequisite for consideration of the bail out program by the IMF executive board. She expected the IMF board to consider this “in the coming weeks.”

The IMF reached a staff-level deal with the authorities of Ukraine in late March on a two-year loan program. The agreement is subject to approval by IMF management and the executive board. PNA

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