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Business

Ukraine makes fresh plea for more money

The finance minister of conflict-torn Ukraine has urged the West to provide more funds for the country battling separatists in the east. She warned the costs of a failed state would be that much higher.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko called for greater financial assistance from the West Monday.

In an interview for the "Financial Times," she said her country needed a much bigger shot in the arm to keep the conflict-stricken nation away from disaster.

"I believe strongly that the G7, and frankly speaking, the broader G20, has a responsibility right now to support Ukraine in a much bigger way financially," Jaresko said, adding that "the cost of a failed state will be so much greater."

Stable hryvnia?

The minister said she expected gross domestic product (GDP) to drop by 5.5 percent this year, following a 7-7-percent contraction in 2014. First-quarter growth in 2015 was predicted to be down by 7-10 percent, Jaresko warned.

The International Monetary Fund had reported Ukraine's debt-to-GDP ratio would most likely hit some 94 percent this year before declining to little over 70 percent by 2020.

Despite the problems at hand, the finance minister expressed confidence that Ukraine's national currency, the hryvnia, could stay in the 22-24 range against the dollar over the next four years,

should vital structural reforms be implemented

according to schedule.

hg/kc (AFP, Reuters)

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