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12 February, 2014 17:35   ▪  

The Wall Street Journal: EU's Ashton to Discuss Ukraine with IMF Chief

Catherine Ashton to Meet with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday, The WSJ reports.

European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will hold discussions Thursday with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Ukraine, she said Tuesday, as the EU explores options for providing assistance to Kiev.

“The meeting is a bid by the EU to clarify the conditions under which the IMF could extend a financial rescue package for the country, possibly with complimentary loans from Brussels and Washington. Burned by its last financing program with Kiev, the fund has said any future emergency loan for the country would be smaller, of shorter duration and only after the government has met strict economic preconditions to which Kiev has so far refused to agree,” The WSJ reports.

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According to the paper, EU sees financing as a way to sweeten its efforts to turn the country back toward integration with the EU and away from Russian control.

In the commentary to the newspaper Anders Åslund, a Ukraine expert and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics said: "This shows that the EU is serious about providing a carrot for Ukraine". He expects that the IMF would likely offer $10 billion, with the EU coughing up $5 billion, and that the fund's program would only last 12 to 15 months, long enough to install a new government. 


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