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Ukraine May Freeze Debt Payments To Fund War

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says Kyiv could halt its debt repayments to creditors if no immediate deal is found with private lenders.

Yatsenyuk said on his return flight from Washington to Kyiv on June 12 that such a move is necessary because the Ukrainian government needs to fund its campaign against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

"We will not take money out of Ukrainians' pockets to pay foreign debts," he said.

Yatsenyuk said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had given his government a few extra weeks to pass legislation that is necessary for the release of badly-needed IMF loans.

He added that the IMF had signaled a willingness to let Ukraine restructure debts to lenders at its own pace.

But Ukraine's four biggest private lenders are concerned about debt payments and Moscow has threatened to go to the International Court of Justice if it doesn't receive a $75 million payment by June 20.

The IMF is expected to decide in July about the next tranche of Ukraine's multibillion-dollar loan package.

Based on reporting by AFP and