IMF offers Ukraine up to $18B in loans
KIEV, Ukraine — The world rushed on Thursday to help Ukraine, with the International Monetary Fund pledging up to $18 billion in loans, the U.N. condemning the vote that drove Crimea into Russian hands and Congress backing even harsher sanctions against Russia.
Yet even with such intensive help to prop up the teetering economy, Ukraine's prime minister warned of painful times ahead from economic reforms that were sure to drive up energy prices.
Meanwhile, Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the country's most divisive figures, announced she would run for president — a move sure to impact Ukraine's turbulent politics.
President Obama called the swell of international support a “concrete signal of how the world is united with Ukraine.”
In a passionate address to parliament in Kiev, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned that Ukraine was “on the brink of economic and financial bankruptcy” and laid out the fixes needed to put the country back on track.
“The time has come to tell the truth, to do difficult and unpopular things,” Yatsenyuk said, adding that Ukraine was short $25.8 billion — “equivalent to the entire state budget for this year.”
The IMF loan, which is expected to range between $14 billion and $18 billion, hinges on structural reforms that Ukraine has pledged to undertake.
Ukraine's new government finds itself caught between the demands of international creditors and a restive population that has endured decades of economic stagnation, corruption and mismanagement.
The reforms demanded by the IMF — which include raising taxes, freezing the minimum wage and hiking energy prices — will hit households hard and are likely to strain the interim government's tenuous hold on power.
In Washington, Congress overwhelmingly backed legislation in the House and Senate to aid cash-strapped Ukraine and punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea.
On a voice vote, the Senate approved a measure that would provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and give Obama broad authority to impose more sanctions on Russia and President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. student’s body found beside forest in Jerusalem
- U.N. fears 20,000 will be infected with Ebola
- Russian columns enter Ukraine; leader urges calm
- Toronto mayor, as volunteer football coach, made players roll in geese droppings, school board papers allege
- Fate of anti-government protest lies in Pakistani military’s hands
- China tells U.S. to cut back surveillance
- News Alert
- Brits conclude London rapper turned jihadist beheaded Foley
- ‘Holocaust T-shirt’ for kids discontinued in Spain
- UN: Ebola cases could eventually reach 20,000
- Peruvian nurse cares for 175 terminally ill cats