KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian leader says the International Monetary Fund has approved a new loan for the country.

President Petro Poroshenko hailed the move as recognition of Ukraine’s progress in stabilizing its economy and implementing reforms.

Poroshenko said Wednesday that the IMF would quickly release the first installment, worth $1.4 billion, out of the new $3.9-billion loan package. The Ukrainian government had to raise natural gas prices for individual customers to meet the IMF’s conditions for securing the loan.

Ukraine’s National Bank said the IMF loan will help ensure financial stability in Ukraine, which will need to pay $6 billion to international creditors next year. The Ukrainian economy has been hurt by the separatist conflict that has engulfed the country’s industrial heartland in the east after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.