IMF to offer $17.6 billion to promote economic reform in Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has agreed to provide Ukraine with 15.5 billion euros ($17.6 billion) to help support economic reforms.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Thursday that "this new program offers an important opportunity for Ukraine to move its economy forward at a critical moment in the country's history."

The announcement, made in Brussels, came as the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany continued marathon overnight talks, struggling to clinch a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Largarde says the reform plan "is an ambitious program, it is a tough program, and it is not without risk. But it is also a realistic program and its effective implementation — after consideration and approval by our executive board — can represent a turning point for Ukraine."