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Monday, November 20, 2017

IMF reaches agreement with Ukraine on multi-billion dollar arrangement

The International Monetary Fund announced on Thursday that it reached an agreement for a $27 billion financial aid package with Ukraine.

Nikolay Gueorguiev, the mission chief for Ukraine, said the mission reached a staff-level agreement with the government of Ukraine on an economic reform package that can be supported by a two-year stand-by arrangement with the IMF. The agreement came after an IMF mission worked in Kyiv between March 4 and March 25.

"The financial support from the broader international community that the program will unlock amounts to $27 billion over the next two years," Gueorguiev said. "Of this, assistance from the IMF will range between $14-18 billion, with the precise amount to be determined once all bilateral and multilateral support is accounted for."

The agreement is subject to approval by IMF management and the executive board. Consideration of the agreement is anticipated in April after Ukraine's authorities adopt a strong and comprehensive package of actions meant to stabilize and grow the economy.

Gueorguiev said that Ukraine's current economic situation is unsustainable. The country's prior pegged and overvalued exchange rate led to a current account deficit to reach more than nine percent of GDP. A lack of competitiveness contributed to a sharp decline in exports and GDP growth.

"The goal of the authorities' economic reform program is to restore macroeconomic stability and put the country on the path of sound governance and sustainable economic growth while protecting the vulnerable in the society," Gueorguiev said. "The program will focus on reforms in the following key areas: monetary and exchange rate policies; the financial sector; fiscal policies; the energy sector; and governance, transparency, and the business climate."

Gueorguiev said the economic reform program is correctly focused on addressing Ukraine's main economic challenges. Steadfast implementation is the key for successfully achieving these objectives and receiving support from the international community.

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