Global financiers at the International Monetary Fund piled the pressure on Ukraine today to cut fuel subsidies in return for loans, warning it faces "serious challenges" in the year ahead.
Ukraine is seeking a $15 billion (£9.6bn) loan to help cope with around $10bn (£6bn) of foreign debt repayments scheduled this year.
An earlier loan deal was suspended when President Viktor Yanukovich refused to scrap household fuel subsidies.
Rounding off a two-week trip to Ukraine, the IMF's Christopher Jarvis said the subsidies "continue to undermine Ukraine's budget and its balance of payments."
It's not clear whether Kiev has offered any concessions on the issue, but no deal has yet been drafted.
Economy Minister Ihor Prasolov said that "technical" talks would start soon and a third visit would wrap up the deal.
The IMF has promised to return to loan talks in March.
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