Maintaining anti-corruption institutions is essential commitment under IMF-supported program – Fund
The launch of a comprehensive electronic system for asset and income disclosure by high-level officials in 2016 was, and remains, a critical step forward in anti-corruption efforts and should not be dismantled, a response by a spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund's press service to a request from the Interfax-Ukraine agency reads.
"Maintaining and enhancing the effectiveness of all of Ukraine's anti-corruption institutions is key to unlocking stronger and more equitable growth and is therefore an essential commitment under the IMF-supported program," the document says.
The IMF recalled that creating an effective anti-corruption framework has been a critical element of the IMF's engagement with Ukraine for the last few years.
Regarding the current stand by program, the IMF representative indicated that discussions on pending issues are ongoing.
On June 9 of this year, the IMF approved a new 18-month stand-by program for Ukraine for SDR3.6 billion (about $5 billion) with an immediate allocation of $2.1 billion of the first tranche.
Four revisions of the program were planned after the allocation of the first tranche: following the results of June, September and December of this year, as well as June 2021 - with the completion of these revisions respectively on September 1 and December 1 of this year and on May 15 and October 15 – of the next year (2021). The amounts of the second and third tranches are $700 million each, the third - $560 million and the final fourth - $980 million. It was assumed 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 sources of Ukraine are 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 EUR 600 million from the EU.
According to informed sources of the Interfax-Ukraine agency, currently the stand-by program is actually put on pause, and the decision of the Constitutional Court on the partial cancellation of the anti-corruption reform, the emergence of the draft state budget-2021 with a deficit of 6% of GDP and tax exemptions merely add questions.
In September, the IMF representative found it difficult to name a possible date for the mission of the first revision of the stand-by program and the allocation of its second tranche. He recalled that maintaining the independence and integrity of NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau), SAPO (Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office) and HQCJ (High Qualification Commission of Judges) is a precondition for this IMF support program.
At the same time, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky last week announced the fulfillment of all the requirements of the IMF, and expressed the opinion that the delay in funding is associated with the opposition of individuals working against the state.
After the decision of the Constitutional Court, the Head of State also stressed his commitment to anti-corruption reform and readiness to protect the achievements of recent years in this area.