War-torn Ukraine has secured a new $17.5 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund, a deal that should help stabilize the country’s reeling economy.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, announced the deal at a press conference in Brussels. The agreement, which covers four years and includes $17.5 billion in loans, roughly doubles the size of Ukraine’s international aid. The deal must still be approved by the IMF board.
“It is an ambitious program; it is a tough program; and it is not without risk,” Lagarde said. “But it is also a realistic program and its effective implementation … can represent a turning point for Ukraine.”
In exchange for the funds, Kiev has promised to slash spending, restructure banks, and implement further anti-corruption measures.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s prime minister, acknowledged on Wednesday that negotiations had been difficult.
“The talks are not easy, because no one gives money to anyone for no particular reason,” he said.
The deal replaces a separate $17 billion bailout agreed to last year by the IMF. Only $4.5 billion of those funds were distributed, bringing the IMF’s total commitment to $22 billion.
According to a White House statement, President Obama emphasized the U.S. commitment to “work with our international partners to provide the financial support Ukraine needs” during a call on Tuesday with his Ukrainian counterpart.