IMF remains engaged in Ukraine – IMF spokesperson
Director of IMF Communications Department Gerry Rice says the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ukraine's key creditor, remains engaged in Ukraine but he does not specify a date of signing a new memorandum of cooperation with Ukraine based on results the second review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.
"We remain engaged with Ukraine, and with the authorities on the program, on the set of policies that underlie that program, and meant to achieve what we share as a common objective, which is the return of sustainable growth and jobs to Ukraine and for the Ukrainian people. So we remain fully engaged," Rice told reporters at a press briefing in Washington Thursday.
Further decisive implementation of the reforms is key, Rice added.
At this, he said he did have a date "on when our Board will take up the second review. It really, again, depends on resolving outstanding issues, and also on having more clarity about the status of the government and the coalition."
Rice noted "all of this is not to say that Ukraine hasn't made a lot of progress. The authorities have made important headway in stabilizing the economy. The budget deficit has been reduced, growth is slowly returning, inflation is coming down, while reserves have been increasing. So, again, there has been progress."
However, it is vital that Ukraine and its leadership accelerates and deepens the reform efforts to support the much needed transformation of Ukraine's economy, according to Rice.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the second review of the EFF program was conducted in two stages. The IMF mission was operating in Kyiv in September, and on October 2 the talks were suspended due to the local elections in the country, as well as ongoing discussions of the tax reform and the draft state budget for 2016. In November, negotiations between Ukraine and the IMF resumed.
At present, Ukraine and the IMF are agreeing a report on the progress of reform implementation and the memorandum on the second program review, while identifying further actions. It is noted that the two sides are discussing a wide range of issues within the framework of the second program review, which includes various aspects of monetary, banking and anti-corruption policies, the pension reform and the privatization process.
The signing of the memorandum would ensure the disbursement of the third loan tranche to Ukraine to the tune of $1.7 billion, which, in turn, is vital for Ukraine as it will help unlock further financial assistance from Ukraine's international partners, including the EU and World Bank.
As is known, the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde commented on the recent resignation of the Ukrainian Economy Minister and indicated that was an issue of concern.