«Ukraine can’t pause or go backwards»
This April, the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF, a top annual international economic forum, took place in Washington. It looked at the current trend and prospects of the world’s economies, regions and individual countries. Upon the invitation from the IMF, The Ukrainian Week correspondent attended the Spring Meetings and spoke to the IMF First Deputy Managing Director about the details and prospects of the IMF’s cooperation with Ukraine.
Ukraine completed 3 out of 11 structural benchmarks from the previous memorandum with the IMF, and still received the last tranche of the loan. Why did the IMF grant it?
We always try to see the big picture. Ukraine is making important strides in stabilizing and building foundation for growth in the country. It was time to go ahead. But we still want all of the other benchmarks to be implemented. We continue our work with the government on some high-priority reforms necessary for the next review. If we move forward together, Ukraine can overcome the legacy of the last 25 years and really make life better for a lot of people in the country.
The upcoming benchmarks include some politically sensitive ones, such as pension and land reform. How would the IMF put pressure on the Ukrainian Government to go through these reforms taking into consideration the fact that Ukraine is looking at double elections in 2019?
We don’t force anyone to do anything. The history of the past 25 years in Ukraine shows that the country moves forward when it wants to do so, and it doesn’t when it can’t find agreement.
The next three important steps are pension reform, land reform and privatization of state enterprises. These reforms are all long overdue. Not doing them has imposed costs on Ukraine year in