"The Ukrainian authorities informed me on Friday of their request for support from the IMF," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde quoted as saying in a statement.

"We are ready to respond and, in the coming days, will send an IMF fact-finding team to Kiev to undertake a preliminary dialogue with the authorities."

"This will enable the IMF to make its usual technical, independent assessment of the economic situation in Ukraine and, at the same time, begin to discuss with the authorities the policy reforms that could form the basis of a Fund-supported programme," she added.

"We are also discussing with all our international partners bilateral and multilateral how good it will be to help Ukraine at this critical moment.

"The political uncertainty has cost Ukraine economically, as the country is said to be in dire financial straits, facing possible default.

Ukraine needs around 35 billion USD in aid to improve its economy, the country's finance ministry said.

(Agencies)

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