KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainian news agencies are reporting that the government is seeking a fresh $15 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

They say that First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov told reporters Monday that he will hold negotiations on a new loan with IMF delegates arriving in Kiev next week.

Arbuzov's office declined immediate comment.

Many economists say the Ukrainian economy is heading toward recession because of waning demand for the country's main export, steel. The national currency, the hryvna, has also weakened.

Experts doubt a quick deal with the IMF is likely because of the government's reluctance to implement unpopular austerity measures, such as raising household gas prices.

Ukraine's previous IMF aid program was frozen over those disagreements.

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