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IMF Extends Ukraine Aid Talks, Cites 'Significant Progress'

KYIV -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says "significant progress" has been made in talks with Ukraine's new Western-backed government on an aid package for the debt-hobbled country and extended the process.

In a written statement, mission chief Nikolai Georgiyev said the IMF’s talks in Kyiv have been extended through March 25.

The statement said talks have focused on how to put Ukraine on “the path of economic reform, sound governance, and sustainable growth while protecting the poor and vulnerable.”

The statement added that the IMF’s cooperation with Ukrainian authorities has been “excellent.”

The mission arrived in Kyiv March 4 to examine Ukraine’s financial situation after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.

The new authorities have said at least $15 billion of aid is needed to stabilize the economy and ease Ukraine’s debt crisis.