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financial aid

Finance ministry hopes Ukraine to receive IMF $3 bln loan installment early Jan 2015

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Finance ministry hopes Ukraine to receive IMF $3 bln loan installment early Jan 2015

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine expects that the tax and budget package will be approved by the Ukrainian parliament on December 25, 2015, which gives chances to Ukraine to receive a new disbursement of $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in early January 2014, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported, referring to an interview with Finance Minister of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko.

"Ukraine’s government will pass fresh budget cuts and economic overhauls in the coming weeks in a bid to secure a broad new package of international assistance. Kyiv hoped to receive another installment of loans from the International Monetary Fund early next month," she said.

Jaresko said that the key building blocks for the new budget are tax legislation, a law on social security contributions and one on decentralizing fiscal powers to the regions. She hopes to complete negotiations with lawmakers on this package on Wednesday and to pass a new budget before December 26.

WSJ said that the budget package is based around a forecast of zero growth in real terms for 2015, she said.

"We don’t need any single decision tomorrow, what we need is a package that is sufficiently credible to help us stem the cycle of lack of confidence," Jaresko said.

Jaresko declined to detail what additional assistance Ukraine is seeking from the European Union, the U.S. and other partners. But she said the country’s financing needs were in the same range as the $15 billion through early 2016 that IMF officials have privately given as a rough estimate.

Among Ukraine’s foreign liabilities, are $3 billion owed to Russia from a 12-month-old loan due in December 2015. Jaresko said the government isn’t currently in talks with Russia on rolling over the repayment.

She pushed back against Western criticism that Kyiv was failing to revamp parts of its economy fast enough, saying that such complaints underestimate the impact of its conflict with Russia on Ukraine’s economy.

"I think it’s very hard for many of our partners to understand the effect of the war on our nation," she said.

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