Sweden backs bilateral aid to Ukraine

Sweden backs bilateral aid to Ukraine
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Photo: TT
Sweden's government is exploring the possibility of providing bilateral loans to Ukraine alongside loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) subject to parliamentary approval.
"Ukraine needs several billion dollars before the summer to meet current expenditure," said Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Saturday.
The government also raised the prospect of providing technical assistance within finance and budgetary and taxation issues.
According to Fredrik Reinfeldt's press secretary Markus Friberg, there is still no decision on how much money that Sweden would be prepared to lend.
"That is something we will return to. The IMF is currently doing an analysis of the needs and how much they will go in with and then how much more is needed," he said.
It remained unclear as to when the IMF will have completed its analysis. 
"It's something that is urgent for the Ukrainian economy. So we are anxious to see that it proceeds swiftly," said Markus Friberg.
The opposition Social Democrats meanwhile supported the plans for bilateral loans to Ukraine, which would require parliamentary approval.
"Ukraine is in very big trouble financially. It is a good signal that Sweden takes the initiative," Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven told the TT news agency.
Löfven however underlined the importance of ensuring that any loan is made subject to conditions, pointing out that Ukraine is a very corrupt country. He decline to specify the size of the amount which Sweden should provide.

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