US Senate panel passes Ukraine aid bill

Washington, March 13: The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday approved a bill which would grant loan assistance to crisis-stricken Ukraine and ratify reform measures for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Senate Committee voted 14-3 to approve the legislation which would provide about $1 billion in loan guarantee to support Ukraine’s economy. It also gives the green light to the much-delayed reforms of the IMF, Xinhua reported.

The bill “includes needed reforms to the United States’ participation in the IMF, which would allow the US to leverage significant support from the IMF for Ukraine today and for similar unforeseen crises in the future,” said Robert Menendez, chairman of the Committee, in introduction of the legislation.

In a statement following the vote, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called the move “an important step forward” in passing the 2010 IMF reforms.

IANS