BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has offered to give extra rescue loans to Ukraine, which is struggling with recession and a costly war, but only if it makes its promised economic and political reforms.
The EU says it can give another 1.8 billion euros ($2.12 billion) in loans — on top of the 11 billion euros already pledged — if Kiev respects the terms of its international bailout deal. In particular, it wants to see better progress in stamping out corruption.
"We need to see this commitment to reforms and some results on different issues," said EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini during a visit to Riga, Latvia.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk highlighted how tough it was to push through unpopular spending cuts.
"Is it enough? No, it's never enough. You have always to move forward," Yatsenyuk said during a visit to Berlin. "We are doing the job on our side despite the fact that we face tremendous challenges."
Ukraine is spending some $5 million per day on the war in the country's eastern region, he said.
Yatsenyuk said Ukraine had received a total of $9 billion in loans so far from bailout packages agreed on last year with the International Monetary Fund and international institutions like the EU. He said Ukraine had repaid $14 billion to creditors in the same period. Kiev has been struggling to repay Russia past debts for gas supplies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was impressed by the "determined" course his government had taken.
Still, Yatsenyuk said Ukraine needs more financial help soon.
"We are out of time," said Yatsenyuk. "The timetable is very, very limited, and we expect to get the response from the IMF and our western partners as quick as possible."
Peter Leonard from Kiev and Geir Moulson from Berlin contributed to this story.
Raf Casert can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rcasert