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Published: Monday February 24, 2014 MYT 9:30:02 AM
Updated: Monday February 24, 2014 MYT 9:31:00 AM

U.S. Treasury Secretary urges Ukraine to begin IMF discussions soon

SYDNEY (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has encouraged Ukraine to begin discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on an assistance package as soon as possible once a transitional government is in place in Kiev.

Lew spoke with Arseny Yatsenyuk, a member of Ukraine's interim leadership, while returning to Washington from the G20 meeting in Sydney, where there was broad support for an IMF-based package, according to a Treasury official.

The United States, together with Europe and others in the international community, were ready to supplement an IMF programme to cushion the impact of reforms on low-income Ukrainians, the official said.

Ukraine's interim leadership pledged on Sunday to put the country back on course for European integration now Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich had been ousted from the presidency.

(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Paul Tait)

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