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U.S. aid bill for Ukraine will not include IMF funding -aide

Source: Reuters - Wed, 5 Mar 2014 20:21 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) - A financial aid package for Ukraine that the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on soon will not include funding for the International Monetary Fund, a senior House Republican aide said on Wednesday.

For a year now, the Obama administration has been pushing Congress to approve a shift of some $63 billion from an IMF crisis fund to its general accounts to make good on an international commitment made in 2010.

U.S. failure to approve the funding has held up reforms to the global lender that would double its resources and give more say to emerging markets.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury asked Congress to include the IMF funding measure in legislation that would provide at least $1 billion in loan guarantees to support Ukraine's economy. It said the reforms would allow crisis-hit countries like Ukraine to borrow more money from the IMF.

U.S. aid to Kiev would go alongside support from the IMF, a lender of last resort to cash-strapped countries that is seen as critical to shoring up Ukraine's collapsing finances. An IMF team is in Kiev this week to discuss a possible aid program.

But even as U.S. lawmakers have urged the IMF to support Ukraine, some have questioned broader contributions to the fund. Some House Republicans have raised concerns about the fund's lending to richer European nations and the possibility of losses on IMF loans.

A Democratic aide in the Senate said that chamber was still deciding whether to include the IMF funding in their version of the Ukraine package, but its absence from any House legislation would dim prospects that it would find its way into a final compromise bill.

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