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Ukraine opposition insists on talks with IMF to receive credit

December 08, 2013, 2:45 UTC+3 KIEV

“The opposition urges the government to take urgent measures to rescue Ukrainian economy,” leader of the parliamentary faction Batkivshchina Arseny Yatsenyuk stated

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KIEV, December 08, 2:20 /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian opposition not only insists on a dismissal of Nikolai Azarov’s government, but also demands launching urgently the talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to receive a credit for the country from the fund. “The opposition urges the government to take urgent measures to rescue Ukrainian economy,” leader of the parliamentary faction Batkivshchina Arseny Yatsenyuk stated Saturday on Independence Square in Kiev, where a protest action has been going on against the incumbent authorities already for a week.

“The talks with the IMF should be resumed immediately” as well as cooperation with other international financial organisations, he said. Otherwise, “Ukraine is exposed to the threat of a default,” Yatsenyuk stated.

On behalf of the opposition Yatsenyuk has earlier urged the government “to resume the talks with the IMF immediately and resume the talks with European Union immediately to receive the macroeconomic aid” and “to hold the talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development immediately to invest in Ukrainian economy.” “Ukraine should have an economic plan, we (the opposition) have it and the government does not have it,” the leader of the opposition parliamentary faction said. Meanwhile, Yatsenyuk as well as other opposition forces in the parliament demand a dismissal of the country’s government.

IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine Jerome Vacher said in an interview with the newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli (the mirror of the week) published on Saturday that current too low gas and heating supply rates for the population (Ukraine) cannot remain unchanged any longer. The IMF recommends the tariff rates be increased gradually and resolutely in several stages within several next years up to an economically grounded level that covers the prime cost of gas purchases, he said. The IMF official named the attainment of energy independence as the key medium-term task for the Ukrainian authorities.

Well-known Ukrainian economic expert Vladislav Starinets believes that the opposition is interested in provoking a social outbreak, therefore, Yatsenyuk stated that the country should resume the cooperation with the IMF urgently. He recalled in his commentary remarks to the edition Vesti (news) that the resumption of cooperation with the IMF requires from the incumbent authorities to conduct several unpopular, though not particularly needed reforms now, including higher utility bills, a fully flexible hryvna exchange rate and the cutting of social spending in the budget, including the salaries to budget-financed employees and pensions. Several IMF requirements may result in social fallout in the country that the opposition is keenly interested in now in order to improve their ratings and bring down the popularity of the incumbent authorities.

“Insisting on immediate resumption of cooperation with the IMF, Arseny Yatsenyuk underscores that the Ukrainian government should capitulate to the requirements of this organisation and increase by 40 percent the gas price for people, freeze the salaries and pensions, abolish tax preferences for agrarian producers, small business. Naturally, this policy will lead to social fallout, but it will be an optimal result for Yatsenyuk. As it is common knowledge that the Ukrainian opposition acts according to the principle ‘the worse the situation is for the Ukrainians, the better it is for them’,” the expert said.

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