The United States welcomes the preliminary agreement between the government of Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff on a loan program of 14 billion to 18 billion dollars, the White House announced on Thursday."This represents a powerful sign of support from the international community for the Ukrainian government as we help them stabilize and grow their economy and move their democracy forward," said the statement from the Office of the White House Press Secretary.The agreement is expected to unlock roughly 27 billion dollars in total support from the international community for Ukraine's people over the next two years as the country implements historic reforms to address long-standing problems that have undermined Ukraine's economic strength and prosperity, it said."It is important now for both the government of Ukraine and the IMF to move expeditiously and complete the steps necessary to gain approval from the IMF Executive Board," it said. "Together with our allies and partners, President (Barack) Obama will continue to build international support for the Ukrainian people at this critical time," the statement said. " The IMF program will be a central component of a package of assistance to support Ukraine as it implements reforms and conducts free and fair elections that will allow all the Ukrainian people to determine the future of their country," said the statement.The United States is working alongside international partners, including the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to disburse rapid additional assistance to complement the IMF program and ease Ukraine's economic transition, particularly for the most vulnerable, it said."As part of this international effort, we are working with Congress to quickly provide a 1 billion-dollar loan guarantee, and are offering technical and financial assistance to help Ukraine meet its most pressing needs," the statement said. "We also remain committed to providing the IMF with the resources it needs, in partnership with Congress, to provide strong support to countries like Ukraine as well as reinforcing the Fund's governance to reflect the global economy."