Ukraine Sees IMF Aid at Less Than Third Its Projection for 2016

  • Premier expects $1.7 billion from IMF’s bailout loan this year
  • Cabinet took over in April as Ukraine waits for aid to resume

Ukraine will receive $1.7 billion from the International Monetary Fund “in total” this year, less than a third the government’s earlier expectation for $5.8 billion, according to Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman.

“The Finance Ministry is carrying out technical work on cooperation with the IMF,” Hroisman told reporters on Tuesday in Kiev after returning from his official trip to the U.S. “The minister will present these results and we will decide on further steps.” He didn’t elaborate on why the projection was reduced. Hroisman’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ukraine is emerging from a political crisis that’s delayed disbursements from its $17.5 billion IMF bailout as a conflict with Russian-backed separatists stretches beyond two years. Hroisman’s cabinet, which took over in April, has pledged to resume cooperation with the Washington-based lender to underpin recovery from a recession and boost reserves.

The nation’s economy, which shrank 9.9 percent in 2015, will probably grow 1.5 percent this year, according to Hroisman.

Decision Looms

The IMF’s board will decide in July on the disbursement of $1.7 billion. Prior to that, Ukraine’s parliament needs to adopt several laws to meet conditions set out in the agreement.

“We will see what decision the IMF will make,” Hroisman said. “The budget year ends Dec. 31, so I don’t see any special difference in when we get the money and how much.”

Delays in receiving the bailout cash have postponed billions more in other bilateral aid. The country’s central bank expected the government to receive two more tranches by the end of the year, helping raise its reserves to $18.7 billion from $13.5 billion at the end of May.

“We want cooperation with the IMF to continue,” Hroisman said. “It’s very important for me that Ukraine becomes an economically independent state. We can’t permanently live on technical support, tranches.”

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