The mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may resume work in Ukraine in April immediately after the maximum price for gas for the population set by the government loses force, said head of the Servant of the People party Oleksandr Korniyenko.
“The IMF mission has completed its interim work: they pointed out the aspects in our joint work that concerns them about the implementation of the agreements. They said they would return soon, in particular after our story with gas ends. It continues until April 1,” Korniyenko told the Internet publication Suspilne on Thursday.
Korniyenko noted that manual regulation of gas prices is not the only remark made by the IMF. According to him, “they are also worried about judicial reform and anti-corruption legislation.”
Earlier, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal announced five key issues in negotiations with the IMF and expects a staff level agreement for the second tranche until June.
Ukraine expects to receive some $2.9 billion in financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2021, for which the parliament is supposed to pass legislative amendments on reforming the judicial system, presidential economic advisor Oleh Ustenko said.
“We expect to receive an IMF tranche this year. Our program envisions $5 billion, and we have already received $2.1 billion,” Ustenko said on Ukrainian television on Monday.
“Ukraine’s cooperation with the International Monetary Fund is continuing,” he said.
“The Verkhovna Rada is supposed to pass legislative amendments essential for receiving the next tranche. I am talking about the need for judicial reform and [legislation] ensuring the functioning of anti-corruption infrastructure,” he said.
He said “the requirements of the program of cooperation with the IMF coincide with the program of the President of Ukraine, on which the head of state has repeatedly said.”
Ustenko also said, in order to amend the Ukrainian legislation in terms of the judicial system, the president held many meetings, communicated with Ukrainian and foreign experts and persuaded the MPs of the Verkhovna Rada.
“The program is taking place. As soon as the relevant legislative initiatives of the president are voted in the Verkhovna Rada, we can say that on our part we have fulfilled what we promised. We promised to fulfill not only the IMF, we do not do it for someone, we do it for Ukrainian people,” the advisor to the head of state said.
Ustenko said that successful cooperation with the IMF will give Ukraine the opportunity to make more profitable borrowings on the international market and is a good signal for foreign investors.
He also added that 2020 was a difficult year in terms of attracting investment, but the Ukrainian economy could receive about $3 billion in foreign direct investment in 2021.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in a telephone conversation with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva, discussed the progress towards the adoption of the state budget of Ukraine for 2021, the preservation of the anti-corruption agenda and macroeconomic stability in the country.
“Our teams enjoy strong trust & work closely to welcome the IMF mission ASAP,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night.
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.