Ukraine thanks EU for 5 billion euros aid, calls for full IMF program

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a raising ceremony of the country's biggest national flag to mark the Day of the State Flag in Kyiv

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday thanked the European Union for confirming 5 billion euros ($4.97 billion) in macro-financial aid but said the country needed a "full-fledged" program of financing from the International Monetary Fund.

Zelenskiy made the comments in a Twitter post following a conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who he said discussed plans to further strengthen Ukraine's defence capabilities.

It was not immediately clear what Zelenskiy meant by a "full-fledged" program.

Ukraine's Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko last month told Reuters that the government would begin negotiations with the IMF in September. She declined to say how much Ukraine would request in a new program, but said it should be "relatively large" and needed to be agreed quickly to help free up funds from other creditors and reassure investors.

Oleg Ustenko, a senior economic adviser to Zelenskiy, has said an IMF loan of $5 billion over 18 months could serve as an anchor for a larger package of $15 billion to $20 billion from other creditors.

An IMF spokesperson said the global lender "continues to closely engage with the Ukrainian authorities and is currently exploring all feasible options to provide further support to Ukraine in these challenging circumstances."

($1 = 1.0059 euros)

(Writing by Conor Humphries; additional reporting Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Jon Boyle and Jonathan Oatis)