KYIV, Nov 24 – Ukraine is increasingly unlikely to get any lending from the International Monetary Fund before the end of the year, Tymofiy Mylovanov, a recently appointed advisor to presidential office’s chief of staff, said.
The government was hoping to get at least $700 million installment by the end of the year, but the money has so far been withdrawn due to slow pace of reforms.
"There will be no tranche ... Physically, by calendar, we are short of time,” Mylovanov said in an interview with ICTV. “This is unrealistic this year."
Mykovanov, a former economy minister, said the government may be able to strike a staff level agreement with the IMF that may open door for other limited borrowing options, such as tapping capital markets. This will happen only "if we work very well," he said.
Ukraine was originally expecting $1.4 billion in two installments received from the IMF in the second half of the year. The IMF disbursed $2.1 billion in June after approving $5 billion loan deal to help Ukraine fight coronavirus pandemic.
Kyrylo Shevchenko,the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, led a Ukrainian government team for talks with the IMF in Washington November 9-November 12, but the talks have produce little progress.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on November 17, told the Ukrainian leader that the parties have agreed on what needs to be done before and IMF team can come to Kyiv for loan review.
Georgieva said Ukraine needs to make progress in three areas, including central bank independence, anti-corruption measures and meeting economic and fiscal targets previously agreed upon with the IMF.
Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said Tuesday that Ukraine and the IMF have been making rapid progress, adding that the ministry will release the statement “soon.”
"I emphasize the significant progress in the negotiation process,” Marchenko told Interfax-Ukraine. “The Ministry of Finance will soon publish official information on the positions gained."
Marchenko added that the ministry is currently finalizing main 2021 budget indicators that will be included in the budget draft that will soon be submitted to Parliament. (tl/ez)