Ukraine is continuing talks on a new tranche of the IMF’s $15.15 billion loan but sees no risk of default without this money, the first deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Irina Akimova, said on Wednesday.

“Even if the International Monetary Fund does not give us money, then considering our debt situation which improved last year, there will be no serious fears about Ukraine’s immediate default,” Akimova told Ukraine’s TV Channel 5, RIA Novosti reported.

At the end of last year Ukraine Prime Minister Mykola Azarov declared Ukraine's economy was stable enough without International Monetary Fund loans.

"In a month and a half, it will be a year we have not received a dollar from the IMF," Azarov said then, adding the absence of international loans had not caused any problems in the country.

In July 2010, the IMF approved a $15.15-billion standby loan for Ukraine "in support of the authorities' economic adjustment and reform program."

Ukraine has so far received two tranches worth a total of over $3.4 billion. The provision of further aid was suspended in December 2010.

The IMF demanded that Kiev increase gas prices for households, an extremely unpopular measure in Ukraine which the authorities refuse to fulfill.

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