Ukraine has fulfilled a major part of conditions for receiving the first tranche of macro-financial assistance (MFA) from the European Union in the amount of EUR 500 million, acting Finance Minister of Ukraine Oksana Markarova has said.
“Most of the conditions for the first tranche have already been fulfilled. Some of them are in the process of implementation at the final stage. I think getting the first tranche is realistic enough,” she told Interfax-Ukraine on the sidelines of the 15th YES Conference organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Kyiv.
“The question is about reaching agreements with the IMF, which are also important for the MFA. We are working on this too, as soon as there is, I hope, a positive solution, then we will be able to [to get the MFA],” Markarova said.
Commenting on the specific conditions for the first tranche of the MFA, she said that the Finance Ministry had already approved seven general tax consultations since July.
“After we approved amendments to the Tax Code that enable the Finance Ministry to render these consultations, we did not actively use this tool. It’s my personal priority,” Markarova said.
She said that some legislative requirements are differently interpreted by tax offices in regions and courts, and the role of these generalized consultations is to provide equal interpretation, therefore, the ministry will use this tool.
Asked about the fulfillment of the requirement to ensure effective verification of information on beneficiaries in the public register, Markarova said that this requirement has already been practically fulfilled, as it is prescribed.
“This is a matter of changing the legal acts. There is already a clear understanding of what needs to be changed in the regulatory framework to make this possible. I think we will fulfill this condition,” the acting minister said, adding that there is no need for legislative amendments.
At the same time, she said that, in general, the verification of beneficiaries is a very complex issue. Markarova said that there is no country that can show how it works, in particular, this is a new experience for European partners of Ukraine.
The acting minister also said that the draft national budget for 2019 announced all the required funds for the work of the High Anti-Corruption Court.
A first tranche of the macro-financial assistance of the European Union (EU) will arrive in Ukraine this year, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. “Of course, we are speaking about this year,” the minister said in Kyiv on Wednesday, asked about the terms of the first disbursement of the EU’s macro-financial assistance. He recalled that in coming days a memorandum of understanding under the programme, foreseeing in particular the conditions for the provision of a loan, will be signed. Klimkin declined to specify the details.
As reported, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Euro, Social Dialogue, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Valdis Dombrovskis on September 13-14 will visit Ukraine, where he will take part in signing a memorandum of understanding, in which the terms of the fourth EU macro-financial assistance programme for Ukraine (MFA IV) for EUR1 billion will be fixed.
According to materials published by the EU early July 2018, the proposed MFA would be made available for two and a half years, starting from the first day after the entry into force of the memorandum of understanding. In addition, the planned size of the two tranches is to be outlined in the document.
Since May 2014 Ukraine has received EUR 2.81 billion of macro-financial assistance from the EU. The third tranche of EUR 600 million under the MFA was annulled on January 18, 2018, as the country failed to meet the conditions.
Following its technical mission of November 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its estimates of Ukraine’s external financing needs, identifying an additional gap of $4.5 billion for 2018 and 2019.
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) maintains its expectation that Ukraine will attract $2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2018 and predicts the next tranche will be received at the beginning of the third quarter of 2018. “As for the next tranche of a loan, we believe that this will be possible at the beginning of the third quarter. However, this is rather a technical calculation in terms of the progress of negotiations and receipt of consents at the technical level,” Deputy NBU Governor Dmytro Solohub said at a briefing in Kyiv.
According to him, the NBU currently does not have any specific information about the date of the next visit of the IMF mission to Kyiv. At the same time, Solohub reported that the Ukrainian delegation planned to attend the Annual and Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.
“The traditional spring meetings of the IMF will be held at the end of next week, and the Ukrainian delegation will be present at them. These are not only negotiations with the [IMF] mission to discuss the [EFF] program, these are also meetings with other international organizations,” he said.