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By Marc Jones
LONDON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund has given its backing to Ukraine's plans for an anti-corruption court, removing one of the key hurdles needed for the government to get its next $2 billion (1.51 billion pounds) tranche of aid.
The court is being set up as part of Ukraine's $17.5 billion bailout and has become a symbol of its efforts to stamp out high-level corruption that has blighted the country for decades.
"The legislative framework for the High Anti-Corruption Court, once the recently adopted amendments are signed into law, will be consistent with the authorities’ commitments under Ukraine’s IMF-supported program," an IMF spokeswoman told Reuters.
There are still a number of other issues that still need to be resolved, however, before Kiev finally receives the IMF money.
There remains a standoff over plans to raise the country's gas prices as well as additional spending cuts or money raising measures needed to plug some shortfalls in revenues earlier in the year.
Kiev has only received half the $17.5 billion aid earmarked for its aid programme which is due to run out next year. It has not had any fresh money since April last year.
"Discussions on other outstanding issues, including gas prices and the government budget, are ongoing," the spokeswoman said.
(Reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Jamie McGeever)