Ukraine gets IMF billions
The first $4.5 billion
Ukraine, struggling to avoid an economic meltdown, on Monday received the first $4.5 billion of a $16.5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund, AP reported.
Ukraine is reeling from a drastic fall in global demand for steel, the engine of the national economy. The national currency has lost nearly a quarter of its value n recent months. Plants across the country are halting production, laying off workers and slashing salaries. The stock market went into a free fall and the banking sector was hit by a run on banks.
Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk told a Cabinet meeting Monday that the first installment, received by the central bank, will help the government to stabilize the hryvna currency and buttress the banking system.
The two-year loan is contingent upon a package of stabilization reforms, such as reducing government spending, taming inflation and allowing a flexible exchange rate.