KIEV, Ukraine ( TheStreet) -- International Monetary Fund officials Saturday pledged a new $14.9 billion loan for Ukraine after the two sides approved measures aimed at reducing the nation's debt.

The two-and-a-half-year loan, which the IMF announced in a news release, still must be approved by the organization's executive board, which is expected to consider the matter in late July.

Ukraine agreed to contain its deficit to 5.5% of GDP in 2010 and 3.5% in 2011 "with a view to setting public debt firmly on a declining path," Thanos Arvanitis, IMF mission chief for Ukraine, said in the news release.

"The goal of the authorities' economic program is to entrench fiscal and financial stability, advance structural reforms, and put Ukraine on a path of sustainable and balanced growth," Arvanitis added.

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The economic program includes financial reforms aimed at shoring up bank capital and strengthening the independence of Ukraine's central bank.

It also includes energy reforms intended to help Naftogaz, Ukraine's state-owned energy company, to reduce its deficit to 1% of GDP in 2010 and balance its budget in 2011.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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