IMF says Ukraine debt deal needed soon
The International Monetary Fund reiterated Thursday that Ukraine needs to complete a debt restructuring with private creditors within weeks to pass the first review of the IMF loan program.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said that an IMF team would begin the first review of its $17.5 billion loan program on May 12.
The review, which measures Kiev's performance in meeting fiscal and reform goals of the program to allow release of the next tranche of funds under the loan, will last two to three weeks, Rice said.
But he said that completion of the review requires that the country reach a deal with creditors that will achieve $15 billion in savings, giving the government more fiscal space to proceed with reforms.
"It is vital that Ukraine and creditors reach agreement... and do so before we complete our review," Rice said.
"We need the financing assurances to be in place... in order to proceed."
"We want and expect that outcome."
The debt restructuring is an essential part of the four-year, $40 billion bailout program the IMF crafted in March.
The Fund has admitted that the risks to its program are "exceptionally high", given the country's history of not fulfilling the demands of previous programs and the ongoing conflict between the government and pro-Moscow rebels who occupy eastern parts of the country.
© 2015 AFP