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Ukraine Economy Would Have Collapsed Without Russian Aid, IMF Chief Says

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Russian money bailed out a faltering Ukrainian economy last year, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

Lagarde added Ukraine was cut off from international financial markets for not reforming its economic policies, and Russia’s decision to invest $15 billion in Ukrainian Eurobonds, along with an agreement to steeply cut the price of Russian gas imported to Ukraine, saved the country from collapse.

“Without the support they were getting from this lifeline that Russia had extended a few months ago, they were heading nowhere. It (the Ukrainian) economy that needed reforms, that needed profound transformation of its fiscal policy, of its monetary policy, and of its politics on energy,” she said.

Legarde made her comments on the American television network PBS.

The cash infusion and gas discounts ended when violent protest in Kiev led to far-right parties gaining key government positions and the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych.

The IMF, based in Washington, announced last week it would provide Ukraine with $14 to $18 billion in standby credit in exchange for economic reforms.

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