Ukraine, IMF Agree USD 18 B Rescue Deal

World | March 27, 2014, Thursday // 11:50| Views: | Comments: 1
  • Send to Kindle
Bulgaria: Ukraine, IMF Agree USD 18 B Rescue Deal Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has repeated calls for economic assistance to the 46-million country which, in his words, could be facing an economic disaster, Photo by BGNES

Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund have signed a deal granting a USD 14-18 B package to the country, IMF mission's head Nikolay Gueorguiev has announced.

Under the new agreement, up to USD 27 B more could be allocated to Kiev over the next two years.

A statement by the leader of the IMF mission, Bulgarian Nikolay Gueorguiev, says that the exact amount of money that Ukraine is to receive will further be determined after taking into consideration the joint dimensions of all bilateral and international packages the country has been offered.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allegeine Zeitung informs that the deal was struck late on Wednesday, and a news conference of Ukraine's central bank was scheduled for Thursday, beginning 11:30 GMT, in which Gueorguiev is to take part.

The EU and the US have already promised additional 1 B grants, and Canada has decided to give USD 200 M to Kiev.

Earlier, it was reported that a deal could be struck as early as Thursday due to progress marked in the negotiations taking place in Kiev.

The so-called standby agreement would help authorities in Kiev fill gaps in the state budget and kick off economic reforms aimed at promoting stabilization and sustainable growth.

Standby agreements envisage financial assistance in return of comprehensive reforms in a given country.

In the case of Ukraine, overpriced currency hryvnia is one of the targets, as IMF experts believe its "unnatural" exchange rate has led to the current account deficit (roughly 9% of GDP) and the lack of competitiveness stalling exports and growth.

A controversial gas price hike was also on the agenda, but Kiev's leadership earlier agreed that a 50% hike on consumer and heating company bills will be in force starting May 1 this year. The country's situation could however be further complicated by expected increase of prices for gas supplied by Russia, which was announced by the country's energy giant Gazprom due to prolonged debts.

State gas subsidies have so far resulted in lower energy prices for Ukrainians, but had also led to a 2% add-up to the budget deficit caused by state energy entity Naftogaz's fiscal imbalances.

Re-structuring Naftogaz will also be necessary to improve efficiency and reduce its huge pressure on the central budget.

The IMF hopes to reduce Ukraine's deficit to 2.5 of GDP by 2016. Political reforms such as the creation of new laws on piblic procurement, transparency and business climate, as well as stepped-up efforts to fight corruption and tax evasion, are also to be carried out under the agreement.

IMF's mission led by Nikolay Gueorguiev arrived i Kiev on March 4 and has since held long talks with the new Ukrainian authorities.

The country's economy has recently been heading for a collapse, and Prime Minster Arseniy Yatsenyuk has repeatedly made calls for financial assistance.

World » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Gueorguiev, Naftogaz, Nikolay Gueorguiev, US, EU, rescue, gas, IMF, Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Please, log in to post a comment.
» To the forumComments (1)
Lana J. - 27 Mar 2014 // 22:37:59

Economic assistance... more like robbery to me

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria