IMF, Ukraine reach staff agreement on next disbursement of $880 mln

IMF, Ukraine reach staff agreement on next disbursement of $880 mln
# 23 February 2024 12:14 (UTC +04:00)

Officials from the International Monetary Fund and the Ukrainian government on Thursday reached a staff-level agreement on updated economic policies, paving the way to release about $880 million once approved by the IMF's board, the fund said, APA reports citing Reuters.

The agreement came after six days of meetings between Ukrainian officials and IMF staff in Warsaw, Poland as part of a third review of Ukraine's $15.6 billion 4-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement with the IMF.

The IMF said Ukraine's progress on the programme was "broadly on track", noting that Kyiv met all structural benchmarks under the review, and all but one quantitative performance criteria.

It said Ukraine's economy demonstrated strong growth, declining inflation and strengthening reserves in 2023, but the outlook for 2024 remained highly uncertain as Ukraine's fight against Russia's invasion continued.

"We expect that this decision will be approved by the Executive Board of the Fund in the near future," Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Telegram messaging app.

"In 2024, we expect the Fund's assistance in the amount of $5.4 billion. With these funds, we will be able to concentrate our domestic resources on defence, which is our number one priority," he said.

The agreement must still be approved by IMF management and the fund's executive board, which is expected to consider the matter in the second half of March, a source familiar with the process said.

"The EFF continues to provide a strong anchor for the authorities’ economic program in times of exceptionally high uncertainty," said Gavin Gray, the IMF official who led the talks in Warsaw.

He said Ukrainian authorities met all four structural benchmarks due for the review and all but one of the quantitative performance criteria - a small miss on tax revenues owing to border blockades.