Brussels has drafted a schedule for the allocation of financial assistance to Ukraine by June this year, and it is expected that about EUR 850 million (about $1.2 billion) will be allocated within three months, a senior EU official has told Interfax-Ukraine. “If a stand-by agreement is signed with the IMF, we will be able to make the first tranche of the previously announced loan of macro-financial assistance (EUR 1.61 billion) in the amount of EUR 100 million in April, a EUR 250 million grant to support the state budget in May and EUR 500 million in macro-financial assistance in June,” he said. “This means that within three months we will be able to make EUR 850 million or $1.172 billion available to the Ukrainians,” he added. The official said he was confident that the agreement with the IMF would be signed in the near future and that the pace of the disbursement of funds from the EU would be unprecedented. But it is also not necessary to exclude pleasant surprises, he said, meaning the possible allocation of additional financial assistance from the EU. Click here to read the article on interfax.com.ua.
This document sets out the main concrete measures that the Commission is proposing for the short and medium term to help stabilise the economic and financial situation in Ukraine, assist with the transition, encourage political and economic reforms and support inclusive development for the benefit of all Ukrainians. These measures combined could bring overall support of at least €11 billion over the coming years from the EU budget and EU based international financial institutions (IFIs) in addition to the significant funding being provided by the IMF and World Bank. All these measures should be seen as the Commission’s contribution to a European and international effort at providing a sustainable way out of Ukraine’s difficult economic situation and to support its economic and political transition. The action of Member States in complementing and reinforcing what the Commission can mobilise on its own is crucial. Click here to read memo in full on europa.eu.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton plans to visit Washington this week to discuss the question of financial cooperation with Ukraine with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Ashton said this at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. “I will be going on Thursday to Washington. I have a meeting with Christine Lagarde and one of the subjects that we’ll be discussing is Ukraine,” Ashton said. She said that the EU sees the provision of financial assistance to Ukraine in order to help overcome the economic crisis only on the basis of carrying out reforms in the country. Earlier Ashton said that the EU and the United States were discussing the introduction of a “Ukrainian Plan,” which envisages the involvement of international organizations and international financial institutions in the provision of financial assistance to Ukraine. Сlick here to read the full article on Ukrinform.
Negotiations with Ukraine on a Stand-By Arrangement are now not on the front burner for the International Monetary Fund. William Murray, Deputy Spokesman at the IMF Communications Department at a press briefing in Washington on January 9 said currently there are no details on conducting such discussions between the Fund and the Ukrainian side, Ukrinform’s Washington correspondent reported. “This time I’m not aware of any detailed programme discussions. I don’t have anything to elaborate on the status of requests for a stand-by this time,” Murray said. Click here to read the full article on Ukrinform.
The west was prepared to give Kiev at least €20bn in loans if Ukraine agreed sign a landmark European Union integration agreement last month, according to an internal EU document seen by the Financial Times. The total would have broadly matched the bailout package Russia pledged to Ukraine on Tuesday – and what Ukraine had publicly demanded. High quality global journalism requires investment. EU officials said Russia’s bailout, including $15bn in bond buying and a gas price reduction worth at least $4bn, pushed Kiev further away from western Europe, adding that talks on an EU deal remained frozen for the time being. The €20bn, which one official said was a conservative figure, would have come mainly via the International Monetary Fund under tough conditions. But the European Commission would have helped “fast-track” disbursement of the funds, according to a separate EU memo. Stefan Füle, EU enlargement commissioner, said on Wednesday that Brussels was still waiting to look at this week’s Russia-Ukraine agreements to ensure they did not contradict Kiev’s commitments to the EU under the planned integration agreement. However, he added that “if the Ukraine-Russia deal has brought some normalcy to the trade relationship between the two countries that’s fine”. Click here to read the full article on ft.com.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pledged to tackle the country’s political crisis and return his focus to the economy as anti-government protests continued in the capital, Kiev. Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief arrived today for a two-day visit to meet Yanukovych and opposition leaders to mediate in a political stalemate. Ukraine’s leaders are seeking $10 billion to keep the economy afloat. Talks with Russia and the EU have yielded no progress so far and Yanukovych returned from China last week without loans. The president today said he’d restart talks with the International Monetary Fund and pledged to sign an EU trade agreement in March. Click here to read the full article on bloomberg.com.
The European Union is ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine for the implementation of the Association Agreement, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule has said. “We stand ready to help and support Ukraine on its modernization journey, including through topping up IMF loans with macro-financial assistance; by stepping up the European Union’s financial assistance programs to help Ukraine implement the Agreement, when it is signed, and helping to bring on board other international partners,” he said at a plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday during the discussion of the Ukrainian issue.Clic k here to read the full article on interfax.com.ua.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has expressed regret at the fact that the European Union has not provided any specific proposals concerning the reorientation of Ukrainian exports. “At our meetings with our European partners, we talked quite openly about the situation that we currently have,” Azarov said. “We talked about our problems, [and] we proposed that they, in the first place, help us resolve the issue of the reorientation of our exports.” The premier said Ukraine could supply equipment for the energy sector, transport and other sectors. “Unfortunately, the EU works perhaps not as quickly as we would like. We raised this issue in July, it is already November, and we have not received any specific proposals,” the Ukrainian prime minister said. Click here to read the full article on kyivpost.com.
The United States supports Ukraine’s cooperation with the International Monetary Fund aimed at reform implementation, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has said. “We talked about our support for Ukraine’s further discussions with the IMF in the context of the support the IMF can provide for the reform implementation process in Ukraine,” Nuland told journalists after three hours of talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kyiv on Nov.4. She also said that the reforms Ukraine is implementing on its course towards integration with the EU and in its cooperation with the IMF “form the basis for the extension and deepening of U.S.-Ukraine relations.” Click here to read the full article on KyivPost.
The European Union is in advanced discussions with the International Monetary Fund on providing standby financing to Ukraine should the country come under economic pressure from Russia later this year, Reuters reported citing senior EU officials. “If the EU-Ukraine pact is signed, and the Kremlin does retaliate in the ways many expect, the EU has plans in place to supply Ukraine with natural gas, as well as arrangements with the IMF for emergency financing – even if some analysts doubt the IMF and Ukraine can bridge long-standing differences,” the report says. However, the head of the IMF’s mission in Ukraine said there was no link between Ukraine signing the EU deal and receiving help. “There is no connection between the possible signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU and the discussions on a possible Fund-supported program,” Nikolay Gueorguiev told Reuters.The news agency also recalls that Ukraine is expected to sign a free trade and association agreement with the European Union at a summit in Lithuania on November 28-29, as long as it meets remaining conditions, including releasing former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. Click here to read the full article on reuters.com.