Ukraine, IMF working on opportunity for fund's mission to visit in autumn – President's Office dpty head
Ukraine continues negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on financing, in particular, on September 21, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal held a telephone conversation with the leadership of the IMF European Department, Deputy Head of the President's Office of Ukraine Yulia Kovaliv said.
"We are working together with the IMF so that the IMF mission comes to an online mission, which will be new in our relationship with the Fund in the autumn," she said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine in Kyiv on Tuesday.
The IMF on June 9, 2020 approved a new 18-month stand-by program for Ukraine for SDR 3.6 billion (about $5 billion) with an immediate allocation of $2.1 billion of the first tranche.
After the allocation of the first tranche, four revisions of the program were planned: following the results of June, September and December 2020, as well as June 2021 with the completion of these revisions, respectively, on September 1 and December 1, 2020 and on May 15 and October 15, 2021. The amount of the second and third tranches will be $700 million, the third one will be $560 million and the final fourth will be $980 million. It was expected that the virtual mission for the first revision of the program would work on July 13-23, but this plan was violated.
Other international financing of Ukraine is also tied to the IMF program. In particular, the successful first revision of the stand-by program will allow receiving already approved $350 million from the World Bank and EUR600 million from the EU.
The IMF representative on September 10 found it difficult to name the possible date of the mission for the first revision of the stand-by program and the allocation of its second tranche. Refusing to directly comment on the decision of the Constitutional Court, which called into question a number of aspects of the work of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the IMF representative said that maintaining the independence and integrity of NABU, SAPO and HACC is a precondition for this IMF support program. According to him, discussions about the current stand-by program continue.
Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said that among the issues that are of interest to the IMF, the most priority one is "the situation around PrivatBank and the Surkis brothers" [a dispute for $350 million regarding bail-in during the nationalization of PrivatBank]. According to the head of the Finance Ministry, the following is the situation with the limitation of salaries for members of supervisory boards and the board; bills registered in the Verkhovna Rada that discredit the corporate governance system; SAPO and NABU.
According to informed sources of Interfax-Ukraine, currently the stand-by program is actually put on pause, and the appearance of the draft national budget for 2021 with a deficit of 6% of GDP and bills in the parliament with tax exemptions only adds questions.