: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine`s finance ministry tries to explain why IMF delays more aid

The Ukrainian Finance Ministry has explained why the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed a decision to disburse more aid to Ukraine.

”The meeting was postponed solely due to the need to assess economic implications arising from measures taken by Ukraine in response to the [coal] blockade and the seizure of Ukrainian enterprises in uncontrolled territory in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and in connection with the recognition by the Russian side of documents issued [by the de-facto authorities] in the territory,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The IMF Executive Board was due to meet on Monday, March 20, to assess the completion of the third review of the Extended Fund Facility and approve a new US$1 billion disbursement, which is part of the $17.5 billion bailout program.

Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk said new consultations with the IMF would be completed ”as soon as possible.”

The minister said that assessing the costs is important for both sides to ensure the efficiency of the program.

”Respective consultations have already started. [We] plan to finish them as soon as possible,” he said.

As Reuters reported on Sunday, the IMF said in an email its board meeting was delayed ”to allow staff time to assess the implications of recent developments for the program. Staff expect to announce a new date soon.”

Earlier, information about a March 20 meeting of the IMF Executive Board on a new disbursement to Ukraine is no longer in the calendar, according to calendar data posted on the IMF`s website.

The IMF Executive Board meeting on March 20 will consider Qatar`s 2016 Article IV Consultation.

Olha Germanova, the press secretary of Nina Yuzhanina, the chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada committee for tax and customs policy, confirmed on her blog on Facebook on Sunday, March 19, that an IMF technical mission invited by the Ukrainian Finance Ministry is in Ukraine until the end of the next week.

Last week Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko enacted a decision by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to suspend all freight traffic with occupied areas in Donbas.

The decision followed an existing blockade by Ukrainian activists and Members of Parliament that had prevented coal shipments from reaching Ukrainian-based power plants and steel enterprises since late January. The coal blockade became a pretext for Russian-backed separatists to seize businesses that are located in the occupied territory but registered as taxpayers in Ukraine.


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