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File photo: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures as he visits the village of Odzisi near the administrative border with the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, Georgia July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

(reuters_tickers)

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday said Ukraine would be extremely vulnerable if it did not stick with a $17.5 billion International Monetary Fund aid programme, urging lawmakers to pass necessary anti-corruption and pension reforms.

"We need to implement the IMF programme, without which Ukraine is extremely vulnerable," he said in a speech to parliament. "I hope the pension reform will be passed at the next session."

"It is urgent to establish a special anti-corruption judicial body," he said, referring to another IMF requirement needed for the disbursement of the next loan tranche.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Matthias Williams)

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Reuters