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US Senate drops IMF reforms from Ukraine aid

Russian navy sailors stand still during a flag-raising ceremony on the deck of their ship, the 'Suzdalets' ASW corvette, moored in the bay of the Crimean city of Sevastopol on March 25, 2014US Senate Democrats bowed to Republican demands that reforms sought by the IMF be removed from a Ukraine aid package, acknowledging it could not pass with such measures intact. While there was broad agreement on offering $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and imposing some sanctions on Russia, it became clear that a bill which also included the International Monetary Fund changes that are strongly opposed by many Republicans would stall in the Republican-led House of Representatives. “I believe we need to act now, this week,” Senate Democrat Robert Menendez, who spearheaded legislation that included Ukraine aid, Russian sanctions and IMF reforms, said on the floor of the chamber, on Tuesday. “So although I also believe that our response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea should include IMF reforms –- to strengthen the assistance package for Ukraine and strengthen US global leadership — I recognize that us being able to move that package this week is unlikely.”

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