KYIV, Nov 17 – Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a plan of actions to be implemented to get back on track with economic reforms and anti-corruption measures, officials said Monday.
Kyrylo Shevchenko,the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, led a Ukrainian government team for talks with the IMF in Washington last week.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday, told the Ukrainian leader that the parties have agreed on the actions.
“Full agreement on actions needed prior to program review,” Georgieva tweeted after the phone call, which she had described as “constructive.”
Georgieva confirmed earlier reports that three problems are currently in focus on discussions with Ukraine, including central bank independence, anti-corruption measures and meeting economic and fiscal targets previously agreed upon with the IMF.
The comments add hopes to prospects of IMF resuming its lifeline for Ukraine once the government delivers on implementing the promised actions.
The failure to implement those measures, such as approval 2021 budget with wide budget deficit target, would result in further delaying the loan, signaling financial challenges for the government.
Ukraine expected two tranches worth a total of $1.4 billion in the second half of the year, but the IMF had so far stalled on disbursing the money due to concerns over Ukraine’s performance in tackling corruption and passing reforms.
The government secured $5 billion loan deal with the IMF in June and received the first tranche worth $2.1 billion to fight a sharp economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The office of President Zelenskiy issued a statement after the phone call with Georgieva, in which it said the government will deliver on the agreed plan.
Zelenskiy assured Georgieva that Ukraine will “move towards (2021) budget adoption, anticorruption agenda preservation and macroeconomic stability.”
“Our teams enjoy strong trust and work closely to finalize negotiations and welcome the IMF mission as soon as possible,” Zelenskiy said. (nr/ez)