- President sees agreement with fund soon as sides near deal
- Official has said pensions among small number of issues left
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said his country may get the next trance of financial aid from an International Monetary Fund bailout in February.
Speaking to Bloomberg Television Thursday in Davos after meeting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde earlier in the Swiss ski town, Poroshenko said that the two sides are near an agreement over the delayed disbursement and that a deal will be reached soon.
Talks with Lagarde spanned topics including Ukraine’s economic development, its outlook and the government’s reform program, aimed at modernizing the former Soviet republic and stamping out corruption, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, who also attended the talks, told reporters after they finished. An “insignificant number” of outstanding issues with the IMF includes plans to overhaul the pension system, Deputy Finance Minister Artem Shevalyov said Wednesday in an interview.
Ukraine, recovering from an 18-month recession, is trying to unlock $1.7 billion of bailout cash after political squabbling delayed the passage of a 2016 budget that met IMF requirements. The hold-up in IMF financing is weighing on Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, which weakened by about a third against the dollar last year.