IMF team in Ukraine to check on new govt

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

KIEV—An In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund team ar­rived in Kiev on Tues­day af­ter the for­ma­tion of a new Ukrainian gov­ern­ment re­solved a pro­longed po­lit­i­cal cri­sis that had stalled the re­lease of vi­tal aid. The mis­sion’s visit was long awaited in the cash-strapped for­mer Soviet coun­try as it grap­ples with the costs of a two-year con­flict in the pro-Rus­sian sep­a­ratist east and at­tempts to dig out of a dra­matic eco­nomic swoon. The Fund ap­proved a new $17.5-bil­lion (15.4-bil­lion-euro) loan pro­gramme in March 2015 that in­cluded an ini­tial lump pay­ment of $5 bil­lion and pro­vided for the sub­se­quent re­lease of $1.7 bil­lion ev­ery three months. But Ukraine has so far only re­ceived $6.7 bil­lion and seen no new dis­burse­ments since the sec­ond half of last year. The IMF has been frus­trated by the slow adop­tion of painful belt-tight­en­ing mea­sures that were be­ing re­sisted by pop­ulist par­ties and dam­aged the ap­proval rat­ings of lead­ers who rose to power in the wake of Ukraine’s Fe­bru­ary 2014 pro-EU re­volt. Po­lit­i­cal may­hem spurred by al­le­ga­tions of state-level cor­rup­tion.—AFP

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