UPDATE 1-Donors plan Ukraine conference in April to raise $15 bln

Mon Feb 9, 2015 10:54am EST
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* Ukraine needs to rebuild shattered country, plug budget gap

* Donors likely to include United States, Canada, Japan, EU (Updates with quotes, more details about investment plans)

By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - International donors are planning a conference in Kiev in April to raise at least $15 billion to help save Ukraine from bankruptcy and rebuild the country, a senior EU official said on Monday.

Already under an International Monetary Fund programme, Ukraine is seeking an increase in foreign aid to plug an estimated $15 billion funding gap as fighting in the east of the country saps its treasury.

"We cannot wait until the conflict is settled," European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who is responsible for the EU's neighbourhood policy, told a small group of reporters.

Donors including the European Union, the United States, Japan, development banks and the United Nations, met in July to discuss ways to help Ukraine, but many first want to see Kiev submit a comprehensive list of its investment needs.

Hahn, who stressed that Ukraine should treat donors as investors wanting a return on their money, said the Ukrainian government had promised to have that plan ready by mid-February.

That would allow an exact date to be set for the conference.   Continued...