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IMF likely to send technical team to Ukraine soon: Lagarde

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is likely to send a technical support team to Ukraine soon in order to assist Kiev after its president was toppled by violent street protests over the weekend, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.

"We will probably shortly send some technical assistance support to the country," Lagarde, the IMF's managing director, said during an appearance at Stanford University in California. "Because this is our duty to a member if that member asks for that. That is clearly what is likely to happen."

Ukraine's parliament does not plan to vote on the formation of a government until February 27, and the IMF's rules do not allow it to offer financial support to a country that has not asked for it.

The IMF said it has a resident representative in Ukraine who will help in assessing the country's economic situation.

"Now, to go further, to support better this economy, we need to engage in a dialogue in which the Ukrainian authorities, once designated, will seek out the help and support of the IMF," Lagarde said. "That's how it will work. We are ready to engage."

An IMF bailout is widely seen as critical to get Ukraine's dire economic situation under control, as its government is rapidly running out of cash.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Paul Simao)

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