KIEV, Ukraine—Lawmakers passed austerity measures, including pension cuts and tax increases, on Monday intended to help secure a fresh bailout from the International Monetary Fund aimed at averting financial collapse.
The moves came as the death toll from more than 10 months of fighting in eastern Ukraine was set to pass 6,000, according to a United Nations count.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry , after meeting in Geneva with his Russian counterpart, said cease-fire violations have continued despite a 2-week-old truce, and renewed warnings of additional sanctions against Moscow.
The peace plan’s brokers—the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia—discussed its implementation via conference call late Monday. Paris and Berlin said they had welcomed progress on the cease-fire and pulling back of heavy weapons, but that all sides called for enhanced monitoring.
The government in Kiev won a bit of breathing room on Monday: Russia signaled it may not press for early repayment of a $3 billion loan, despite Ukraine’s worsening debt situation. And it said a dispute over deliveries of Russian natural gas to rebel-held regions won’t endanger supplies to the rest of Ukraine.
The budget amendments and other measures, approved during a lengthy parliament session that lasted late into the evening, are a condition of the $17.5-billion IMF bailout.