1 Mar 2010 15:37

European commission ties financial aid to Ukraine to resumed work with IMF

BRUSSELS. March 1 (Interfax) - The European Commission (EC) is prepared to unblock 500 million Euros worth of financial aid to Ukraine as soon as Kyiv resumes cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said at the beginning of a meeting on Monday with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

When Ukraine returns to cooperation with the IMF, the EC will unblock 0.5 billion Euros in macro-financial aid to the country, Barroso said.

The EC is convinced that Ukraine needs to resume cooperating with the IMF as a step toward improving the investment climate, he said. Enforcing the 2010 state budget will also help to guarantee capital investments, he said.

The EC wants to see immediate progress in gas-sector reforms, which will surely open the way to direct foreign investments, Barroso said. And Ukraine has to pass gas-sector laws that meet European standards, he added.

During their meeting, Barroso and Yanukovich discussed an agreement on association that Kyiv and Brussels are currently negotiating, Barroso said. The sides have agreed that these negotiations will be completed in a year's time, he reported.

The two also discussed the need for a 'road map' to a visa-less regime, Barroso said, and he confirmed EC readiness to send to Kyiv a technical experts mission for assisting in management sector reforms.