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Lagarde Warns Stalled Reforms, Corruption Threaten IMF Program

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has told Ukraine that it must enact promised reforms and root out corruption or risk losing the support of the financial organization.

"Without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful," Christine Lagarde said in a statement on February 10.

"Ukraine risks a return to the pattern of failed economic policies that has plagued its recent history," she added.

The IMF -- the main source of rescue financing for cash-trapped Ukraine -- has a $17.5 billion bailout program for the country on condition the government enacts economic reforms and fights corruption.

Lagarde's comments come two days after Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said the IMF had put aid to Ukraine on hold until it becomes clear whether the current government, which is reeling from the abrupt exit of its economy minister last week, survives.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP