WASHINGTON (TIP): The United States welcomed on Thursday the International Monetary Fund’s announcement of a new $17.5 billion bailout deal for Ukraine, urging the crisis-torn country to undertake the reforms required by the programme.

“Fully implemented, this ambitious IMF program will play an important role in helping to unleash Ukraine’s considerable untapped economic potential,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in a statement.

The IMF on Thursday gave preliminary approval of a $17.5 billion four-year loan in exchange for economic reforms.

The new loan replaces a previous two-year, $17 billion program announced in April that has proven inadequate to stabilize Ukraine’s finances as the country fights a pro-Russia insurgency in the industrialized east.

In total, Kiev is expected to receive$40 billion in aid from the international community. A cease-fire agreement between Ukraine and the rebels was announced Thursday, with the truce to take effect Sunday.

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“The United States, along with its international partners, remains¬†committed to ensuring that Ukraine has the financial and technical assistance it needs as it undertakes its far-reaching reform program,” Lew said.

In mid-January, the United States pledged a new loan guarantee of $2 billion on condition that Ukraine remained on track with its IMF program.

Two IMF programs for Ukraine, in 2008 and 2010, had been abandoned after the Ukrainian authorities refused to implement unpopular reforms, including ending subsidies for the gas sector.

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