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Ukraine pleas for West's cash as jilted Russia lashes out

Published on Feb 25, 2014 12:08 AM

KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine's new masters called on the West on Monday to urgently organise a financial rescue for their listing economy, saying they need US$35 billion (S$44 billion) to stave off default, while jilted Russia threatened economic punishment.

"Most government workers have quit their posts. The coffers are empty. We don't have enough money to pay our debts," new interim leader Oleksandr Turchynov said.

After limping along for three years thanks only to loans, the financial situation now was "extreme," he said.

Interim finance minister Yuriy Kolobov said the US$35 billion in foreign assistance was needed by the end of next year. He urged Western nations and the International Monetary Fund to convene a donor conference in the next two weeks.

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