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Sunday, April 5, 2020

International reserves lowering in Ukraine

Ukraine's international reserves stood at $18.8 billion as of Dec. 1, a drop of 9 percent from the month earlier, the government recently announced.

The level was impacted by repayments on sovereign bonds totaling $578 million, the repayment of the latest installment to the IMF under the Stand-by Arrangement in the amount of $955million and interventions by the National Bank of Ukraine in the country's foreign exchange market to mitigate exchange rate fluctuations. Interventions to support the hryvnia amounted to more than $800 million, AFP reports.

Analysts say that the mass protests underway against the rule of President Viktor Yanukovych risk are exacerbating an already serious economic crisis and causing a crash in the value of its currency.

From an economic point of view, analysts say, the protests struck at the worst possible time for Yanukovych, whose government is battling to fix an economy that has effectively been in recession for the past 18 months.

A major problem is the current account deficit that has ballooned to more than eight percent of GDP, meaning that what Ukraine is paying for imports is now swamping what it receives for exports, according to AFP.

The country's economy is heavily reliant on exports of steel and other raw materials from the industrialized east and south, making it highly vulnerable to any downturn in the global economy or commodity prices.

Ukraine has now posted five consecutive quarters of negative growth, with the economy contracting 1.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.