KIEV, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The World Bank has approved a $500 million loan guarantee for Ukraine that will allow state energy firm Naftogaz to buy gas from Europe this winter, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk said on Tuesday.
This follows a decision by the International Monetary Fund to disburse a third tranche of aid worth $1 billion under a $17.5 billion bailout programme in September.
"I welcome today's decision of the Board of the World Bank to provide guarantees for a Naftogaz loan of $500 million for the purchase of gas," Danylyuk wrote on Facebook. "This will allow us to safely get through the heating season."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "no wonders" should be expected at talks on a stalled peace plan for eastern Ukraine which she will host on Wednesday. Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of fomenting a pro-Russian rebellion; Russia denies the accusation. (Reporting by Alexei Kalmykov; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)