Ukrainian PM hopes for successful talks with IMF mission in next two days


Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said he hopes talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission will end successfully over the next 48 hours.

"The talks are not easy. Because no one gives money anyone for no particular reason… I hope over the next 48 hours we will finally complete the talks with our creditors," the premier told the government on Wednesday.

"A few outstanding issues remain. These are the issues concerning the reform of the energy sector," he added.

The prime minister reminded the government and parliamentary coalition of their joint responsibility for implementation of the reforms.

"The parliamentary coalition must assume, together with the government it has formed, full responsibility for passing urgently required laws that are part of our reform package and were developed during talks with the IMF and international creditors," Yatseniuk said.

On April 30, 2014, the IMF executive board approved a $16.67-billion stand-by program for Ukraine over two years, and transferred the first tranche - around $3.2 billion - in early May. The second tranche, $1.39 billion, was provided on September 4. However, the funding was later suspended, not least because of a delay in forming a new Ukrainian government after early parliament elections.

On January 12, 2015, the IMF mission began the third stage to complete the second review of Ukraine's compliance with the stand-by program.

In January Ukraine asked the IMF to replace the stand-by program with a four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The Ukrainian authorities are hoping the IMF executive board will make a decision on the new program before the end of February.

The parliamentary coalition agreement contains a clause about member obligations to comply with the IMF program but it also contains other clauses which might contradict this program. In particular, a number of coalition members strongly criticized proposals to significantly increase natural gas rates for households as part of the program with the IMF.

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