IMF, Ukraine Reach Staff Agreement on Next Disbursement of $880 Mln

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018.

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – 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.

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 program 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.

The agreement, first reported by Reuters earlier on Thursday, 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.