By Jeff Najjar
The International Monetary Fund has warned it will cease its $40 billion bailout program to Ukraine unless the country takes substantial efforts to improve governance and tackle corruption. The IMF’s warning follows the recent resignation of Ukraine’s economic minister, Aivaras Abomavicius, after he alleged that a senior aide to the country’s president was blocking his anti-corruption reforms. The Ukrainian economy is contracting at an annual rate of more than 7%, and the IMF program remains critical to the country’s efforts to prevent a more widespread economic collapse. Ukraine’s president has recently reassured Christine Lagarde—the head of the IMF—that he was committed to following a reform path to keep the nation’s bailout on track.