US urges Ukraine to quickly pass anti-graft reforms

GMT 13:28 2016 Saturday ,13 February

Arab Today, arab today US urges Ukraine to quickly pass anti-graft reforms

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L)
Washington - AFP

The United States on Friday urged Ukraine to accelerate anti-graft reforms, after the International Monetary Fund threatened to cut aid to the cash-strapped country due to corruption concerns.

Vice President Joe Biden made the comments during a call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the White House said in a statement. It was his second call with Poroshenko in as many days.

"The two leaders agreed on the importance of unity among Ukrainian political forces to quickly pass reforms in line with the commitments in its IMF program, including measures focused on rooting out corruption," the statement said.

Biden and Poroshenko also agreed on the importance of implementing an agreement to end conflict in the country's east between army troops and pro-Kremlin rebels.

In their call Thursday, Biden expressed "serious concern" about a recent uptick in fighting after a months-long lull.

The Ukrainian government has struggled in the face of war that has ravaged the economy and deepened long-standing political divisions.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Wednesday threatened to cut crucial financial aid to Ukraine because of the country's "slow progress" in fighting corruption.

The IMF program is the keystone of a roughly $40 billion international bailout of Ukraine that could collapse, with almost-certain disastrous consequences.


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