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Ukraine To Start Debt Restructuring Talks Next Week

Ukraine and its creditors agreed July 1 to start negotiations next week on restructuring the country's debt, after weeks of arguing in public.

The two sides met at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington and afterwards issued a statement saying they would keep the talks confidential so as to "allow principal-to-principal negotiations on the substance of a possible solution."

"The parties have agreed to enter such negotiations in good faith, with no preconditions, and with the objective of concluding an agreement on the terms of the debt operation as soon as possible," they said.

Creditors represented by the Ad Hoc Committee of Ukraine's Bondholders -- mainly four U.S. investment and hedge funds -- are under pressure to write off a significant amount of the country's heavy debts.

The IMF conditioned its $17.5 billion bailout program for Ukraine in March on the country also receiving $15.3 billion in debt relief over four years from bond restructuring.

But bondholders want Ukraine to lengthen the debt repayment period rather than write it off.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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