IMF Director Says Ukraine Needs Greater Aid From More Countries

Ukraine needs more financial support from individual countries to help the government in Kiev overcome a recession, International Monetary Fund Executive Director Paulo Nogueira Batista said.

“There is imbalance in the way the support to Ukraine is being provided,” Batista said in an interview in St. Petersburg, Russia, adding that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the Washington-based organization. He is the IMF’s pointman for Brazil and 10 other countries.

Ukraine, devastated by a conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern regions bordering Russia, is aiming to restructure its $19 billion debt to keep funds flowing from a $17.5 billion IMF loan. Its economy shrank 18 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, prompting the IMF to deepen its forecast for contraction this year to 9 percent from 5.5 percent. The U.S. and Germany are among countries that have pledged aid to President Petro Poroshenko’s government.

“Countries that have loudly declared their support for Ukraine must make a bigger contribution to try to help Ukraine overcome its crisis,” Batista said.

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