The International Monetary Fund's $17 billion loan to Ukraine, first proposed in March, has been approved, with $3.2 billion immediately available to the troubled country. The loan will also make available another $15 billion in loans from other lenders such as the World Bank and the European Union.
While the money will be welcome in the country, the strings attached to it may not be so well-received. Starting tomorrow, gas prices will increase by 50 percent, minimum wage will be frozen and taxes will be raised. The money will help Ukraine pay back the its debt to Russian gas company Gazprom.
The loan is also more than Russia offered Ukraine last December, which was part of what triggered the current unrest in the first place.
A fraction of the total loan is available immediately, with the rest coming over a period of two years. Whether or not those installments happen remains to be seen; two previous bailout loans from the IMF, in 2008 and 2010, were frozen when Ukraine failed to enact the reforms it promised.
The IMF had some news today for Russia, too: it warned that the sanctions taken against the country by the United States and European Union would prolong its current recession.