The European Union is ready to provide Ukraine with EUR 1.2 billion of macro-financial assistance, but for this it needs to constructively interact with the International Monetary Fund and fulfill the requirements related to the rule of law, said Josep Borrell, Vice President of the European Commission, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
He said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv on Tuesday that they are also ready to provide $1.2 billion in macro-financial assistance in order to help solve the problems associated with the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but for this Ukraine needs to constructively interact with the IMF and also fulfill all those requirements that relate to strengthening the rule of law in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has held a phone conversation with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva to inform her about his plans to nominate a candidate for governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) by the end of the week.
“Informed Kristalina Georgieva that by the end of the week I will have a new candidate for Head of the NBU for Parliament’s approval. It will be an independent technocrat, who will continue the Bank’s independent course. I make all my decisions only in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” the head of state said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Ukraine in the memorandum to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the new Stand-By Arrangement has undertook by the end of August to review and approve all heating tariffs, linking them to the cost of gas and associated costs, including capital investments.
“We have eliminated the cap on household heating tariffs by revoking cabinet resolution No. 560 of June 26, 2019. We will ensure that, by the end of August 2020, all heating tariffs under the jurisdiction of both the NEURC (the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission of Ukraine) and local authorities are reviewed and officially enacted to fully reflect gas and non-gas costs (including capex),” the document says.
“Starting with the 2020/2021 heating season, heating tariffs will be reviewed and set at least once per year before the start of the heating season to ensure that changes in gas and non-gas costs (including capex) are adequately reflected in heating tariffs. To that end, prior to the start of the 2020/2021 heating season, we will rescind cabinet resolution No. 1082 of December 24, 2019, which allows for the asymmetric changes in heating bills without the need to address heating tariffs when the price of input gas changes. In order to mitigate the risk of future arrears we will develop in consultation with the World Bank mechanisms to provide buffers for district heating companies to deal with the volatility in the wholesale gas price,” according to the report.
“By the end of June we will legislate an October 1, 2020 deadline for all new utility service contracts incorporating the revised heating tariffs to be concluded,” it says.
The first disbursement of $2.1 billion by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been sent to Ukraine, Vladyslav Rashkovan, the representative of Ukraine in the IMF, has said.
“The first disbursement of $ 2.1 billion has already been sent to Ukraine. It will reach the accounts of the government, taking into account the time difference and the speed of funds flow in international payment systems,” he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal notes that Ukraine expects the IMF Executive Board to approve the first tranche of the agreed Stand-By Arrangement for the next 18 months on June 5.
“We have completed negotiations with the IMF, the president also had a telephone conversation with the IMF leader, and on June 5 we expect the signing of the agreement and the receipt of the first tranche. The program is for 18 months, a loan for 5 years, the amount is $5 billion. And this is a Stand-By Arrangement with rather simplified conditions, which will enable us to move calmly in overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus crisis that already exist,” he said on the air of the Savik Shuster Freedom of Speech program on Ukraine TV Channel.
Shmyhal pointed out that the first tranche from the IMF will be $1.9 billion, which Ukraine expects on June 5-6, another $1.6 billion will be in autumn, and $1.5 billion next year.
Ukraine has all chances to sign a new financial agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but it is the Verkhovna Rada is to do the final step, First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Kateryna Rozhkova has said.
“Ukraine as a state today continues negotiating on attracting IMF assistance… The chances are great, but the last step is ours, in fact, it is the Verkhovna Rada, which must adopt two bills, which are the so-called prior actions. This is the land bill and the bill about banks,” Rozhkova said during a press briefing on Friday.
She also said that the IMF is ready to increase the scope of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) compared with the previously agreed $5.5 billion.
“We are optimists. If the EFF is approved, Ukraine will be able to go through difficult times to combat the virus,” Deputy Governor of the central bank Oleh Churiy said.