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IMF ready to release second-tranche loan if Ukraine finances deficit
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11:54, February 28, 2009

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ready to allocate the second tranche of a stand-by loan to Ukraine if the country proves it can finance a budget deficit, the Fund's resident representative Max Alier said on Friday.

"Today, our position is that if the government manages to agree on additional financing for its deficit, we will allocate the second tranche with pleasure," Alier said at the Europe-Ukraine forum, adding that financing the government's budget deficit should not cause an increase in inflation.

"We are ready to accept changes in the size of the state budget deficit, but only if the government secures funding," Alier said.

The IMF withheld its aid program earlier this month, citing Ukraine's failure to trim government spending, which was one of the key requirements Kiev had to meet if it wanted to receive the aid.

Ukraine is among the countries hit hardest by the global financial crisis, with its GDP growth decreasing to 2.1 percent in2008, compared with 7.6 percent the previous year. The national currency, the hryvnia, has depreciated by 40 percent.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is reluctant to cut social spending, has turned to G-7 countries and Russia to help close the budget gap.

On Friday, however, Tymoshenko, President Viktor Yushchenko, and parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn pledged they would work together to come up with anti-crisis measures and policy changes in the coming days and present them to the IMF.

Source: Xinhua

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