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Ukraine gets $680 million loan from Europe

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union says it has wired 500 million euros ($680 million) to Ukraine to help stabilize the country and shore up its ailing economy.

EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn said Tuesday the loan is "a further concrete sign of European solidarity."

The money from the 28-nation bloc is part of a wider EU package aimed at helping Ukraine to reform its economy to boost growth and jobs.

The EU sent Ukraine 100 million euros last month and has another 1 billion euros lined up for it, provided Ukraine meets agreed milestones on economic and financial reforms.

The EU and Ukraine are set to sign a wide-ranging free trade agreement next week.

In total, the EU has pledged assistance worth $15 billion for Ukraine over the coming years.

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