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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF and Ukraine Begin Loan Talks

KIEV -- A mission from the International Monetary Fund began talks with government officials Tuesday to evaluate Ukraine's implementation of an agreement on a loan of more than $500 million.

Among other things, talks are likely to touch on the level of the deficit planned under the government's 1998 draft budget -- which is higher than the amount agreed upon by Ukraine and the IMF.

Ukraine received the first $49 million tranche of the standby loan last month after it was delayed for technical reasons, but further tranches are contingent on fulfillment of the IMF-approved program.

The program calls for the budget deficit not to exceed 5 percent of gross domestic product.

However, the draft budget the government has submitted to parliament last month forsees a deficit of 5.2 percent of gross domestic product.

Ukrainian officials have said they hope to convince the IMF that the breach is not serious and that economic reforms are on track.