KIEV, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian government had formally asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said here Wednesday.
"We hope to receive the IMF's response by the end of the current month," Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting.
He said support from the global lender was critical for Kiev to stabilize its financial situation and keep the struggling economy afloat.
Ukraine, whose finances are on the brink of collapse, needs the IMF loan to pay its foreign debts, implement reforms and stabilize the rate of the local currency, the hryvnya.
On March 27, the IMF mission in Kiev gave preliminary approval for a loan of 14 billion to 18 billion U.S. dollars but set tough conditions for its allocation.
To obtain the loan, Ukraine agreed to implement reforms in the energy and financial sectors, raise gas prices for households, strengthen its fiscal policy and improve the business climate.
IMF's previous 15-billion-dollar stand-by loan program to Kiev was frozen in February 2011 over the unwillingness of the Ukrainian authorities to raise utility tariffs for households, reduce the fiscal deficit and conduct reforms.