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IMF mission completing visit to Ukraine, National Bank hopes for soonest tranche

November 04, 2011, 21:00 UTC+3

The Ukrainian government said many times that it hoped to receive two tranches, each of $1.5 billion, before the yearend

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KIEV, November 4 (Itar-Tass) —— A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is completing consultations with the Ukrainian authorities and non-governmental organizations on the allocation of the next tranche of the stand-by loan, the Ukrainian National Bank reported on Friday.

The bank hopes that the IMF and the Ukrainian government would resolve the remaining problems soon and the tranche necessary for further advancement of the Ukrainian reforms would be granted.

Meanwhile, former first deputy finance minister of Ukraine Igor Umansky doubts the fruitfulness of the negotiations. The Ukrainian media said on Friday that Ukrainian government members did not meet with the mission and it left Ukraine ahead of time. “None [of the national leaders] met with the mission, and it taken aback,” Umansky said.

“The sides had working contacts, but whenever a difficult problem was raised the Ukrainian officials referred it to [Prime Minister Nikolai] Azarov, and he refused to meet with the mission,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko and Finance Minister Fedor Yaroshenko went to Washington to discuss further cooperation with the IMF administration.

The IMF mission started its visit to Ukraine on October 25. It was supposed to elaborate recommendations for the IMF Board of Directors on the completion of the review of the stand-by program and the granting of the next loan tranche to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government said many times that it hoped to receive two tranches, each of $1.5 billion, before the yearend. The government said that the money would be added to the Ukrainian National Bank reserves.

Ukraine needs the IMF loan in the first turn for maintaining the exchange rate of the hryvna. It has a deficit in the balance of trade and a rather high demand for hard currency for paying for Russian gas. The gold and foreign currency reserves of the Ukrainian National Bank reduced by more than $3 billion in the past month.

An IMF demand to Ukraine is the growth of gas and heating charges.

The $16 billion loan was approved on July 29, 2010, to support the economic reforms in Ukraine. The program takes 2.5 years, and the loan has an annual interest of 3.5%.

Ukraine received the first tranche of $1.89 billion immediately after the approval of the program. The IMF Board of Directors approved the allocation of the second tranche, $1.5 billion, on December 22, 2010, on a number of conditions, including the pension reform.


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