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Ukraine ready to meet obligations to IMF

March 19, 2012, 23:15 UTC+3

Ukraine has to pay more than three billion U.S. dollars to the IMF this year

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KIEV, March 19 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine is ready to meet its obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in due time, the Finance Ministry said.

“Ukraine confirms its intention to fulfill its obligations to the creditors, including the IMF, in a stable manner,” the ministry said on Monday, March 19.

Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said that the IMF should not insist on Ukraine’s paying its debt for 2008 if it does not disburse the second portion of the stabilisation loan to the country.

This issue was discussed at his meeting with IMF Executive Director Christine Lagarde in late January.

The IMF mission last worked in Ukraine from October 25 to November 3, 2011, and then took a pause for working out additional technical questions.

Azarov and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko said many times that if Ukraine did not come to agreement with the IMF on the resumption of cooperation, the country would be able to cope without the IMF stand-by loan.

On February 25, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said Ukraine needed IMF loans.

The programme of cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF, approved in July 2000, envisions a loan of 15,150 million U.S. dollars at a rate of 3.5 percent per annum. The programme covers a period of 2.5 years.

Ukraine will ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to refinance its debt under their programme of cooperation started in November 2008.

“Ukraine will perform all of its obligations, including to the IMF, but we have a right to ask the IMF to redeem our debt using the next portion [under the current programme],” Azarov told Reuters on Monday, March 12.

He added that if the IMF refuses, Kiev will repay all debts.

Ukraine has to pay more than three billion U.S. dollars to the IMF this year.

Under the first programme of cooperation, Ukraine received more than 10.5 billion U.S. dollars from the IMF in 2008-2009. The programme was completed ahead of time in 2010 after the change of government in Ukraine.

After that both sides launched a new programme of cooperation to provide more than 15 billion U.S. dollars to Ukraine for 2.5 years. Last year, the IMF decided against providing cash following the Ukrainian government’s refusal to raise natural gas prices for the population.

On March 2, the government said that Ukraine had paid 575 million U.S. dollars to the IMF under the first portion of the stand-by loan. Payments to the IMF in 2012 are estimated at 3.71 billion U.S. dollars. Ukraine is seeking new loans for 10 billion U.S. dollars from the IMF in order to pay off the debt. 

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