WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has approved a $1 billion loan disbursement for Ukraine, after a yearlong delay amid concerns over corruption and the slow pace of reforms in the war-scarred ex-Soviet nation.
The money is part of a $17.5 billion IMF loan program that is meant to boost the Ukrainian economy, which is slowly emerging from a recession, and strengthen the local currency. The economy has suffered from a military conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 9,500 lives.
The disbursement fell short of $1.7 billion that was promised earlier. Announcing the decision Wednesday evening, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that a firm commitment to wide-ranging reforms is necessary.