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Ukraine's New Government Asks for $35 Billion in Foreign Aid

<p>Acting president warns that country's economy is "heading into the abyss."</p>

Ukraine said on Monday it needed $35 billion in foreign assistance over the next two years and appealed for urgent aid following the overthrow of its president.

The Finance Ministry said it had called for a donor's conference and needed the first aid in the next week or two.

Acting President Oleksander Turchinov, appointed after Viktor Yanukovych went on the run and was stripped of his powers by parliament, said on Sunday Ukraine was near default and the economy was falling into an abyss.

"Over the past two days, we have had consultations and meetings with the EU and U.S. ambassadors and other countries and financial institutions on the urgent delivery of macro-financial assistance for Ukraine," Acting Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov said in a statement.

He said the international donor conference should involve representatives of the European Union, the United States and the International Monetary Fund. Ukraine faces state debt payments of around $6 billion in the remainder of this year.

In an address to the nation, Turchinov on Sunday spelled out the enormity of the task facing Ukraine's new leadership, and identified stabilizing the economy as a priority.

"Against the background of global economic recovery, the Ukrainian economy is heading into the abyss," he said.

— Reuters