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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF Offers Kiev $700 Million In Loans if Reforms Progress

Ukraine could receive up to $700 million in International Monetary Fund loans this fall if the government commits to economic reform measures, IMF officials said Thursday.


Fund experts who arrived in Kiev this week hope to sign an agreement on an economic program before leaving the Ukrainian capital early next month, said Lawrence De Milner, the IMF representative in Ukraine.


Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has been slow to reform its economy. Newly elected President Leonid Kuchma has promised to jump-start the process, but so far has not revealed specific plans. The IMF wants him to cut the budget deficit and subsidies to failing industries and liberalize prices and exchange rates.


Ukraine's highly regulated economy contracted sharply in the first half of 1994, and there is a risk of high inflation.


Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist advising Kuchma's government, said reformers are pushing Kuchma to produce a comprehensive program when parliament returns to session next month.


De Milner said the IMF, if convinced of Ukraine's commitment, could grant two loans of $350 million each under a program designed for post-socialist countries.