Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his country needs help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and external borrowing due to its large debt burden.
"We could manage without external borrowing if we did not have to repay old debts," Poroshenko said in a speech at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference in Kyiv on September 14.
His comments came as the president’s parliamentary representative Iryna Lutsenko said Ukraine had started talks with the IMF on a new standby agreement that would replace the current $17.5 billion assistance program.
"This means that the IMF appreciated the reforms, the pace, the results of the reforms that we made within the framework of that program and are ready to provide us with another program," she said on the sidelines of the YES meeting in Kyiv.
In his address to the conference, Poroshenko reiterated that Ukraine seeks membership in both NATO and the EU.
"Ukraine's entry into the EU and NATO will put an end to its 'colonial status'," he said.
Poroshenko also said the EU is “incomplete” without Ukraine.
"Why is that? Because our northeastern border, instead of the Urals, is the frontier of modern European civilization," Poroshenko said at the conference, in comments quoted by the Interfax news agency.