West holds off on Ukraine aid pledges, seeking reforms

newsInternational lenders are delaying plans to offer Ukraine billions of dollars on concerns Kiev cannot yet prove the cash will not vanish into a corrupt economy which EU officials fear could remain a "bottomless pit".

The European Commission said on Thursday that its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, would visit Kiev on Monday ahead of a newly announced EU-Ukraine summit there on April 27.

Despite the delay, officials say the conference will go ahead at some point because Kiev's $17.5-billion bailout by the International Monetary Fund sets the stage for donors, such as the European Union, Norway, Switzerland and Canada, to come in.

The European Parliament this week approved 1.8 billion euros in EU loans to Ukraine over the next two years.

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