Ukraine Curbs Bank Withdrawals on $70bn of Missing Public Cash
Ukraine Curbs Bank Withdrawals on $70bn of Missing Public CashReuters

Ukraine's central bank has curbed the amount people are allowed to withdraw from banking deposits, as it tries to prevent a bank run, following an alleged $70bn missing from the public's balance sheet and dwindling currency reserves.

According to a statement from central bank Governor Stepan Kubiv, Ukraine will place a 15,000 hryvnia (£897, € 1,094, $1,500) limit, on foreign currency withdrawal from banking deposits.

Ukraine is still facing a financial crisis as the newly installed prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, revealed that $70bn has gone missing from the public's balance sheets after the government of ousted President Viktor Yanukovich hid the cash away in offshore bank accounts.

"The sum of $70bn was paid out of Ukraine's financial system into offshore accounts," he said in parliament this week.

"I want to report to you - the state treasury has been robbed and is empty. $37bn of credit received has disappeared in an unknown direction. The situation was so grave that there was no other alternative but to take extraordinarily unpopular measures."

Meanwhile, the country's foreign FX reserves tumbled to $15bn from $17.8bn on 1 February, amid the political turmoil engulfing the country.

Ukraine is also counting on Russia and the International Monetary fund to give it emergency funding to stop it from defaulting.

Oleksander Shlapak, Ukraine's new finance minister, said in parliament that a new financial aid package worth $15bn with the IMF, will be discussed in early March.

Shlapak added that it is still counting on negotiations with Russia over additional aid and over "gas related issues.