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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Audit Will Check If Ukraine Misused World Bank Funds

KIEV -- Auditors have started to review Ukraine's use of World Bank credits since 1994, while the bank's regional director arrived in Kiev to look at the country's investment climate, officials said.

The Finance Ministry said the World Bank had no complaints or suspicions, but decided to seek confirmation that the credits were used properly.

Ukraine's government chose the Deloitte and Touche firm to do the audit, a ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The bank had previously said that it would conduct the audit due to reports that Ukraine misused loans provided by the International Monetary Fund.

An audit of the National Bank, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, showed no mishandling of the IMF loans but revealed that the bank had overstated its reserves. The findings have complicated Ukraine's talks with the IMF on further loans.

Meanwhile, the World Bank's director for Ukraine and Belarus, Luca Barbone, on Tuesday started talks with government officials to examine Ukraine's economic performance and investment climate. Barbone is to stay in Ukraine until June 10.

Barbone said the bank will monitor the implementation of economic reforms and focus its projects on anti-corruption measures, according to Interfax.

The World Bank's investments in Ukraine will depend on government performance over the next three years and may vary from $450 million to $750 million. The bank, however, is linking its aid to that of the IMF, suspended last fall over slow reforms.