The IMF announced the deal on Tuesday, following a series of talks with Ukrainian officials, held in Warsaw earlier in March, the Financial Times newspaper reported.
The agreement requires approval by the multinational lender’s board, which is expected to be granted in the coming weeks, according to news outlets.
If ratified, the Ukraine agreement would be the IMF’s biggest loan to a country involved in an active conflict, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported.
Gavin Gray, the IMF official leading the negotiations, said in a statement: “The overarching goals of the authorities’ program are to sustain economic and financial stability in circumstances of exceptionally high uncertainty, restore debt sustainability, and support Ukraine’s recovery on the path toward EU accession in the post-war period.”
Ukraine and many of its allies have been pressing for months for the IMF to provide more financial assistance to Kyiv amid the Russian invasion, the FT reported.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen welcomed the deal, saying that "an ambitious and properly conditioned IMF programme is critical to underpin Ukraine’s reform efforts, including to strengthen good governance and address risks of corruption, and provide much-needed financial support.”
Yellen added: “It will also bolster the economic assistance that the United States and our partners have provided that is funding essential services like schools, hospitals and first responders, and which is offering vital support to the Ukrainian economy.”
Russia ‘thwarted drone attack’ on Crimea’s Sevastopol port: governor
Meanwhile, the Russian-backed administration in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol claimed its air defences had repelled a Ukrainian drone attack early on Wednesday, the Reuters news agency reported.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Kremlin-backed governor of Sevastopol, wrote on Telegram: “The Black Sea Fleet repelled a surface drone attack on Sevastopol.”
He added: “They tried to penetrate our bay. Our sailors fired at them from small arms. Air defence was also working.”
Shortly afterwards, the Russian-backed administration said it had suspended ferry routes around Sevastopol, according to Reuters.
The city’s Kremlin-backed governor wrote on Telegram that following the drone attack, three "objects" had been destroyed, and that there had been no casualties or damage to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Sevastopol, Reuters reported.
China ‘not impartial’ over Ukraine war: senior US official
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Tuesday met for a second day of talks at the Kremlin, news outlets reported.
The Chinese and Russian leaders signed several documents on “strategic cooperation,” with Putin hailing the talks as “successful and constructive,” and claiming they showed that Chinese-Russian relations were at the “highest point” in “the whole history of our two countries,” The Guardian reported.
Meanwhile, Xi said China had an “impartial position” on the conflict in Ukraine and that it supported peace and dialogue, according to Russian state media.
Xi said his talks with Putin had been “open and friendly,” while Putin stated at a joint news conference that China’s proposal to end the Ukraine conflict could be the basis for a peaceful settlement, when the West is ready for it, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that the United States did not regard China as capable of being an impartial mediator between Moscow and Kyiv over the war in Ukraine, according to news outlets.
“I don’t think you can reasonably look at China as impartial in any way,” Kirby told reporters.
Wednesday is day 392 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: Financial Times, The Guardian, Reuters, whitehouse.gov