IMF agrees to $17.5 billion bailout for Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has agreed on a new $17.5 billion bailout deal for Ukraine to help stabilize the country’s finances.

The four-year deal could include as much as $40 billion in funding when combined with money from other lenders, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said.

Ukraine’s cash-strapped government struggled for financial help even before a nearly year-long conflict began along its eastern border with Russia.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday the government would carry out necessary reforms, including cutting spending. He said if the reforms are successful and the conflict ends, then Ukraine’s economy will grow next year.