Ukraine appeals to G20 for more financial aid
Ukraine needs greater financial aid from the world's biggest economies, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said in London on Tuesday, warning against "fatigue and cynicism" in the international community.
"I did ask the British government as I've asked others in the G7 and the broader G20 to continue and increase the support for Ukraine," Jaresko said in a speech to the Chatham House think tank.
The minister said Ukraine needed more humanitarian aid and defensive military equipment, as well as requesting that sanctions against Russia be upheld.
The International Monetary Fund and the West have pledged a bailout totalling $40 billion (37 billion euros) for Ukraine, which is fighting a war with pro-Russian separatists in the east.
Jaresko said she was also hoping to begin next week formal negotiations with sovereign bond holders -- a group that includes Russia -- to restructure its debt by May as stipulated in the IMF agreement.
"We would hope that a group of them would come together... and that we would be able to start these negotiations hopefully in earnest next week," she said, adding: "We're in a very short timeframe".
"It's our hope that all of our euro bondholders, regardless of nationality and location... will come to the table and negotiate with us," she added.
The Ukrainian economy, now plunging in recession, was weak even before the deadly rebellion erupted in its eastern industrial heartland almost a year ago.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to drop 5.5 percent this year, following a 7.0-percent contraction in 2014.
The IMF estimates that Ukraine's debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 94 percent this year before declining to 71 percent by 2020.
© 2015 AFP