IMF delays Ukraine visit; urges more reforms
WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday postponed a planned mission to Ukraine as it urged Kiev to speed up and strengthen reforms.
IMF senior advisor David Lipton said in a statement that the Fund’s next mission to review progress under its dollar 15 billion standby loan program will come in late October, instead of August 29 as scheduled just two weeks ago.
Success of the program’s second review is key to the IMF releasing a third tranche of funds from the facility for the strapped Ukraine government.
The announcement came after Lipton – nominated to be the IMF’s number two executive -met with Ukraine finance ministry and central bank officials Tuesday to discuss the country’s progress under the standby facility (SBA).
“I stressed the importance of strong policies and reforms to overcome delays and complete the second review,” Lipton said.
“The authorities reaffirmed their commitment to the objectives of the SBA program and the implementation of pending measures,” he said, without specifying what reforms the IMF was waiting to see.
So far the IMF has released about dollar 3.4 billion in the program launched on July 29, 2010.
In the original outline, the IMF said it was aiming to support Ukraine to strengthen its central bank’s independence and supervision of the banking sector, to reform gas prices, to develop a stronger monetary policy with a flexible exchange rate.