July 29, 2014 / 4:30 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-IMF's Lagarde says Ukraine program may change if conflict lasts

(Adds further comments from Lagarde, background)

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund’s $17 billion loan program for Ukraine may have to be revised if the country’s conflict in its eastern regions continues for much longer, the head of the IMF said without specifying further.

“(The IMF program) is premised on having a degree of resolution of the current conflict in the not-too-distant future,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters on Tuesday. “So you see I‘m using a lot of precautions, and I‘m not pinning down to ‘x months,’ or a (certain) degree of conflict,” she said.

“As it stands and under circumstances and the set of our assumptions, which includes a conflict that is resolved in the not-too-distant future, no additional financing is needed,” Lagarde added.

“If any of these key parameters changes substantially, we will have to revisit the whole strategy, because we are talking about a different situation,” she said.

Ukrainian officials, including the deputy prime minister, have asked for more money and support from international donors to help the country deal with what it called “unprecedented Russian-inspired aggression” in its eastern regions.

Intense fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine killed dozens of civilians, soldiers and rebels on Tuesday.

In Brussels, the European Union agreed to impose the bloc’s first broad-based sanctions aimed at sectors of the Russian economy, following broader banking and energy sanctions from the United States.

Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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