UPDATE 1 – Ukrainian President discusses steps to release loans with IMF Georgieva
(Adds a quote from the Managing Director of the IMF)
KYIV, Nov. 17 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva discussed steps Ukraine is taking to unlock IMF loans, Zelenskiy’s office said on Tuesday.
The Ukrainian government signed a new $ 5 billion loan agreement with the IMF in June and received the first tranche of $ 2.1 billion to combat an economic slowdown marked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ukraine expected two more installments of $ 700 million, each in the second half of the year, but the IMF has blocked the disbursement of the money due to concerns about Ukraine’s performance in fighting corruption and adoption of reforms.
The statement said that the president informed Georgieva during their telephone conversation of “Ukraine’s development towards the adoption of the budget (2021), the preservation of the anti-corruption program and macroeconomic stability”.
“Our teams enjoy strong confidence and are working closely together to finalize the negotiations and welcome the IMF mission as soon as possible,” Zelenskiy said.
Georgieva tweeted following the call asking that Ukraine’s central bank independence and anti-corruption efforts have been discussed.
“Full agreement on the actions needed before the program review,” she said. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Sandra Maler and Tom Brown)