KYIV, July 8 - Ukraine is seeking long-term financial assistance from the United States, the Ukrainian finance ministry said on Thursday, ahead of the September maturity of $1 billion of 5-year Eurobonds, which had been placed under U.S. guarantees, Reuters reported.
Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko discussed the possibility with Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo in Washington.
“The issues of reforms in Ukraine, cooperation with international financial organizations, changes in the Tax Code of Ukraine, the possibility of providing long-term state funding from the United States, as well as the need to accelerate Ukraine’s accession to NATO were discussed,” the ministry said in a statement following the meeting on Wednesday.
The U.S. guarantees helped Ukraine borrow at the lowest rate for the country yields - about 1.84% in 2014-2015 and 1.47% in 2016 despite the economic crisis caused by the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the military conflict with Russia-backed separatists.
Ukraine’s latest Eurobond, worth $1.25 billion, was placed for eight years with a coupon rate at 6.876% in April 2021.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is due to visit Washington in late July.
Marchenko was also in talks with the International Monetary Fund seeking to persuade the Washington-based lender to release $700 million in loans to Ukraine before the end of the year.
Oleksiy Liubchenko, deputy prime minister and economy minister, said it was important for Ukraine to secure low-interest loans.
Liubchenko said he does not expect economic shocks in Ukraine if the IMF money does not get released by the end of the year.
On June 9, 2020, the IMF approved a new 18-month Stand-By Arrangement for Ukraine for SDR3.6 billion (about $5 billion) with an immediate issue of $2.1 billion of the first tranche.
Bank of America (BofA) concluded in a report last month that Ukraine may be tempted to borrow money from financial markets in order to avoid implementing painful economic reforms and anti-corruption measures.
The next Parliamentary election is planned for October 2023, followed by presidential election in March 2024. This leaves 2022 as the remaining window for continued close cooperation with the IMF, BofA said in the report. (rt/tl/ez)