Ukraine Seeks IMF Bailout As Prime Minister Resigns

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | December 5, 2012 8:48 AM EST

Ukraine faces economic uncertainty amid the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet as the country prepares for talks with foreign lenders on financial assistance.

Azarov officially stepped down Monday, though President Viktor Yanukovich asked him to stay on in an interim capacity to handle upcoming negotiations this week with the International Monetary Fund.

Azarov has spent the past two-and-a-half years trying to jumpstart Ukraine’s ailing economy, ridden with debt and shrinking amidst falling exports and a weakened currency.

Representatives from the IMF are expected to arrive in Kiev on Dec. 7 to discuss the terms of any potential financial assistance.

The Ukrainian government is hoping to pay off $6.4 billion of its $58 billion debt with IMF loans, while the IMF is demanding that Kiev raise gas and heating prices to reduce the national deficit, according to the Reuters news agency.

Azarov has previously rejected pressure from the IMF to implement widely unpopular austerity measures as a condition of a bailout package.

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