EU's Barroso Urges Ukraine Leaders To Cooperate On IMF Loans

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso urged Ukraine's feuding leaders on Wednesday to overcome their differences in order to secure vital IMF loans.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

"The duty of all responsible politicians is to work together for the common good of (their) country," Barroso told journalists after meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Brussels.

"This is the message I conveyed to President Yushchenko and I hope to convey to Prime Minister (Yulia) Tymoshenko," he said at a news conference with the Ukrainian president.

The IMF is considering whether to grant a second instalment of $1.9 billion from a $16.4 billion loan package to help the country cope with a severe economic crisis.

But Ukraine risks missing out on the money over concerns on its ballooning budget deficit and political tensions between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko, which have paralyzed decision-making in the country.

"As president of the country, I believe the cooperation with the IMF mission and generally with all international financial institutions is compulsory...for Ukraine to get out of this crisis," Yushchenko said.

"I'm sure in the nearest future the government and parliament will take all the necessary steps" towards securing the IMF's agreement for the loans, he said, adding he expected lawmakers to pass crucial bills in the coming days.

Source: AFP

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