BRUSSELS – The International Monetary Fund says Ukraine will need billions of dollars in additional support if the fighting between the military and Russian-backed separatists in the country's east persists.
In its first in-depth assessment since granting the country a $17 billion bailout program in March, the IMF said Tuesday "risks loom large" for the country's economy.
It says the bailout program already faces a $3.5-billion funding shortfall through 2015, with the economy forecast to shrink by 6.5 percent this year. Analysts say Ukraine's gross domestic product might tumble even more.
It says if the fighting in the eastern region — representing about 16 percent of Ukraine's GDP — were to persist through next year, Kiev would likely need additional support worth $19 billion only to shore up its central bank reserves.