KIEV Feb 27 Ukraine's new finance minister said
on Thursday he hoped an International Monetary Fund mission
would visit Ukraine next week to work on a new aid package of at
least $15 billion for the former Soviet republic.
"Today we requested the IMF send a mission and we hope that
it will be here next week," the minister, Oleksander Shlapak,
was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
"It will be a new programme. We will be asking for at least
$15 billion and then it will become clear," he added.
The minister also said he expected the hryvnia, which sank
to a record low on Thursday as fresh turmoil emerged in Crimea,
to strengthen soon at around 10 to the dollar.