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    Ukraine has not as yet agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the size of a loan to patch up its economy under a new partnership program, the country's finance minister said on Wednesday

    Ukraine has not as yet agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the size of a loan to patch up its economy under a new partnership program, the country's finance minister said on Wednesday.

    Fedir Yaroshenko said an IMF mission, which was expected to visit Ukraine later this month, would "elaborate a legal framework for the agreement."

    "The amount has not as yet been determined - negotiations are ongoing," he said.

    Ukrainian Vice-Premier Serhiy Tihipko earlier said that Ukraine might obtain a $19-20 billion loan from the IMF under a new partnership program for two and a half years. The former Soviet republic had initially sought $12 billion.

    Ukrainian authorities have said they expect to the first tranche to be disbursed as early as June 2010.

    In 2008, the IMF granted a $16.4-billion loan to Ukraine, of which the government has so far received $10.6 billion.

    Further payments were frozen in late 2009 after Ukraine raised minimum wages and pensions contrary to IMF recommendations and amid political instability.

    Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has said Russia will back the new loan program for Ukraine.

    The IMF mission last visited Ukraine between March 24 and April 2 to discuss the resumption of cooperation.

    KIEV, May 12 (RIA Novosti)

     

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