Financial help is on its way to Ukraine with the International Monetary Fund agreeing on a $17bn (12.2bn euros) bailout. The money will be released over two years with the first installment of $3bn (2.1bn euros)to be made available immediately.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde admitted it was a gamble relying on the country’s government being able to carry out unpopular measures to get its finances in order.
“It’s a programme that has implementation risks. It’s one where we are trying to mitigate the risks as much as we can. We have had prior actions which have been addressed satisfactorily,” she said.
One of those risks concerns the unity or otherwise of Ukraine. Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has threatened a cabinet reshuffle if order isn’t restored in the east.
He has also called for a national poll on “territorial integrity” ( national unity) to be held at the same time as the May 25 election.
Outside the cabinet office there was a small protest by demonstrators complaining about the government’s infighting and ineffectiveness in dealing with the country’s beleaguered economy.