(Updates with quotes, details)
By Robin Emmott
BRUSSELS Feb 10 Kiev expects to reach a deal
with the International Monetary Fund by the end of the month to
allow the next tranche of aid, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman
said on Friday, and blamed Russia for renewed fighting flared in
Speaking after the biggest surge in violence in Ukraine's
industrial east for more than a year, Groysman also called on
new U.S. President Donald Trump to provide "defensive weapons"
to Ukraine to bring Moscow back into peace talks.
"We have practically completed negotiations (with the IMF)
and only a few nuances remain," he said of talks with the global
lender to unlock the latest series of loans under Ukraine's
$17.5 billion bailout by the end of the month.
Groysman said Kiev intends to cooperate with the
Washington-based lender but that the IMF needed to have
"realistic" expectations on what Ukraine could achieve in terms
of judicial reforms that are holding up talks.
"It's important that all the conditions ... have realistic
deadlines," he told Reuters during a two-day visit to Brussels
where he met officials from the European Union and the North
Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel)