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Minister Says Ukraine To Begin Talks On Debt Restructuring

Ukraine's finance minister says Kyiv on March 13 will begin talks with its creditors on restructuring its debt.

Natalie Jaresko, in remarks quoted by her spokeswoman, said on March 12, "We will start talks tomorrow with our creditors on a restructuring."

Jaresko did not specify which debt might be restructured.

Ukraine's creditors include Russia, which owns $3 billion in Ukrainian eurobonds, out of the total $17 billion issued by Kyiv.

Jaresko's announcement came a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $17.5 billion loan program for Ukraine to stave off a threatened default.

The IMF said $5 billion will be disbursed immediately, but said successful debt restructuring would be "a key consideration" for the payment of further tranches.

Part of the IMF package will go toward stabilizing the national currency, the hryvnia, which lost more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar over the past year amid Ukraine's conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the east.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

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