Kyiv's new cooperation program with IMF not being discussed yet - finance minister
Ukraine's future cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be discussed following the implementation of the current memorandum, Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk has said.
"The new program is not being discussed. What could it include? Remaining items of the current memorandum? But what's the point? We need to achieve the maximum for the country as part of existing cooperation. First and foremost, those are priority reforms required under this program. Only after the implementation of it we can think about next steps in cooperation with the fund," he said in an interview with Ukraine's Mirror Weekly newspaper published on Saturday.
Danyliuk pointed out that he puts great efforts into the successful continuation of the IMF program.
"Receiving zero tranches this year and getting eliminated from the IMF program are actually synonyms, because the program is concluding in the first quarter of 2019," he said.
"There is a certain delay with this tranche, because the parliament did not consider some key bills on time. One of them, on privatization, is being considered this week [the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada passed the bill on January 18]," the finance minister said.
Danyliuk said he was confident that Ukraine's cooperation with the IMF is not only about the money.
"We're currently at the stage, where reforms cannot be stopped. On the contrary, they must be accelerated. [...] We cannot allow stopping. And if we do that, we can't even raise a questing about the continuation of the IMF program. It's simple, if there are no reforms, there will be no program. Both the president and the prime minister understand this, that's why I'm confident in the progress," he said.
As an independent state, Ukraine should be able to work without the IMF, the finance minister said.
"Of course, I also want Ukraine to be independent and move forward without outside assistance, but many of those who speak about that now pursue different objectives. They don't want reforms and changes, many people want to get rid of the IMF to preserve the existing situation in order to advance their personal interests," he said.