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Washington (AFP) - US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew encouraged Ukraine to make "shared sacrifices" to restructure its debt at a meeting in Washington with the country's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Lew welcomed "strong reform efforts" already made by the Ukraine government under difficult circumstances, a spokesman for the Treasury Department said Tuesday.
The debt restructuring is part of the International Monetary Funds' support program. But Lew said it "required shared sacrifices" to ensure economic recovery.
The IMF has granted Ukraine $17.5 billion over four years, part of a $40 billion global rescue package, for the country struggling through a lengthy separatist conflict.
Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko who also attended the meeting, thanked the US for its continued financial support, the Treasury spokesman said.
The two Ukrainian officials also met with IMF Director General David Lipton to discuss economic issues, an IMF spokesman said.
Ukraine is trying to reach a debt agreement with major investors to save the economically ravaged country some $15 billion over four years, but the deal with finance giants has been hard to reach with a default looming.