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IMF Approves $180 Million Aid For Moldova, Citing Progress With Reforms

Moldovan President Radu Timofti casts his ballot in the presidential election at a polling station in Chisinau on October 30.

The International Monetary Fund has approved nearly $180 million in loans for Moldova ahead of a presidential runoff election that could see the former Soviet republic move closer to Europe or tilt toward Russia.

The IMF's Executive Board in Washington approved the three-year loans on November 7 to support the country as it continues down the path of economic reform. The board said $36 million would be made available immediately.

The IMF and the European Union froze aid to Moldova after $1 billion went missing from three Moldovan banks in 2014, plunging the country into turmoil and a recession.

The fund noted that Moldova's economy has returned to growth while the government has strengthened the banking sector and improved its regulatory framework during the last two years.

It urged more reforms in the central bank and the judicial system.

"An effective and independent court system and central bank will be critical" in the future, said IMF Executive Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa.

With reporting by AP
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