: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine`s finance minister expects positive loan decision from IMF soon

Ukraine is hoping for a positive decision by the country`s key lender, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on the disbursement of a new loan tranche to Kyiv soon, Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk has said.

”The date [of the IMF Executive Board meeting on Ukraine] is scheduled, but we would like the IMF to announce it,” Danylyuk told reporters.

”All the decisions are made by the Executive Board, and I hope that the outcome will be positive,” he said.

”We have full understanding of what to do and which policy needs to be implemented. We are set for further cooperation,” he added.

Answering a specific question regarding whether the IMF Executive Board is scheduled to meet on Ukraine on September 15, Danylyuk said:

”You see – you know everything, but let the Executive Board decide.”

As reported by UNIAN earlier, the IMF approved the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program for Ukraine, worth US$17.5 billion, in March 2015, for a four-year period.

Last year, Ukraine received two tranches of $5 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively.

In autumn 2015, while Kyiv was awaiting the EFF`s second review for the disbursement of the third tranche, worth $1.7 billion, the situation in Ukraine was complicated by local elections in October 2015 and, later, by serious political debates regarding tax reforms and the 2016 budget.

Co-operation with the IMF was then frozen.

Early in 2016, political confrontation between the different branches of government in Ukraine increased.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde called upon Ukrainian authorities to look for a political compromise and implement urgent measures to end corruption.

But talks with the IMF resumed only late in April 2016, following the formation of a new Ukrainian government headed by former parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman.

The two sides returned for a second review of the co-operation program and agreed, according to Ukrainian authorities, on all matters in the Memorandum of Co-operation, which included assessments of the reforms and tasks for the future.

The memorandum was expected to be signed early in July, and the IMF`s Executive Board was to consider the Ukraine issue later that month, in a bid to pave the way for distributing the third tranche.

 Its sum was also under discussion, varying from $1 billion to $1.7 billion.

However, the document has not been signed, and the Ukraine issue has not yet been considered.

In late August, Danylyuk said, in an interview with Reuters, that Ukraine was ”very close” to obtaining the third tranche from the IMF.

He noted that the country was not experiencing an acute need for IMF financing, but the IMF loan would unlock other financial support for Ukraine.

In particular, Ukraine could receive $1 billion for its budget, which would be guaranteed by the United States, along with EUR 600 million of macro-financial assistance from the European Union and a US$500 million loan from the World Bank to purchase gas during the heating season

On September 1, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said that the Executive Board would meet in the second half of September to consider Ukraine`s disbursement.


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