WASHINGTON Feb 27 The International Monetary
Fund on Thursday said it would send a fact-finding team to
Ukraine next week in response to the country's request for
support after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said earlier that
the IMF and its international partners were discussing how to
help Ukraine. The IMF team being sent to Kiev will have
preliminary talks with authorities there, Lagarde added.
"This will enable the IMF to make its usual technical,
independent assessment of the economic situation in Ukraine and,
at the same time, begin to discuss with the authorities the
policy reforms that could form the basis of a Fund-supported
program," Lagarde said in a statement.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said it would be premature to say
what conditions Ukraine would be required to follow in order to
get an IMF bailout, or how much money the IMF would be prepared
"Broadly, we would expect that the main elements of that
Article 4 would remain valid," he said, referring to the IMF's
last analysis of Ukraine's economy in October.
In that analysis, the Fund urged Ukraine to raise gas prices
for domestic consumers and introduce a flexible exchange rate
for the hryvnia currency - both unpopular steps previously
rejected by the Kiev government.