24 Oct 2022 13:41

Ukraine focused on moving from monitoring to full-scale IMF program - Zelensky

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva have discussed outcomes of the IMF mission's work in Ukraine, the planned IMF Monitoring Program, and the fund's possible full-scale financing program for Ukraine.

"Assured that Ukraine will do everything to properly pass the IMF monitoring program and move on to the new one ASAP. Emphasized the importance of the donor coordination platform for Ukraine," Ukrainian media quoted Zelensky as saying on social media.

Georgieva said in commenting on her conversation with Zelensky, "Excellent discussion w/President Zelensky. Discussed recent IMF support of $1.3 billion, the meeting of our teams in Vienna, the upcoming int'l conference on Ukraine and the road ahead for program monitoring and an eventual full-fledged IMF program."

Georgieva has said recently she would personally attend an international expert conference on Ukraine under the G7 auspices in Berlin on October 25. Its participants include, among others, the heads of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, the president of the European Commission, the German federal chancellor, the federal president of Switzerland, and the president of Poland.

Ukraine will be represented at the conference by Prime Minister Denis Shmygal and the finance and regional development ministers.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media have reported with reference to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), following an IMF Mission meeting in Vienna that the next round of negotiations with IMF experts to prepare a monitoring program for Ukraine, in which the IMF Board of Directors is to be involved (Program Monitoring with Board Involvement, or PMB), is expected to take place in November.

"We expect a swift negotiating process to approve Program Monitoring with Board Involvement, which should not only lay a firm foundation of our macroeconomic policy but also enable tangible steps at the start of next year toward a new major IMF program," the NBU said in a statement quoting its Governor Andrei Pyshny.

Over the four days of the mission's work, NBU and Ukrainian Finance Ministry officials have had a number of meetings with IMF experts, at which they thoroughly reviewed the current state of the Ukrainian economy, macroeconomic forecasts, parameters of the 2023 draft budget, and sources for financing its deficit, the NBU said.

IMF experts praised the NBU's policy to maintain monetary and financial stability and the proper functioning of the Ukrainian banking system in the extremely challenging conditions and reaffirmed their willingness to continue to provide expert consultations on various aspects, the NBU said.

The parties also discussed some financial and economic policy details that could be included in PMB, which should serve as a foundation of the NBU's and the Ukrainian government's plan for maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability and should determine the volume of foreign financing needed.

IMF Mission Chief for Ukraine Gavin Gray said last Friday that there had been productive discussions and that the staff and the authorities would "advance work in the coming weeks to follow up on the authorities' request for Program Monitoring with Board Involvement (PMB)."

Such new program is viewed as a step toward starting a full-scale IMF financing program for Ukraine. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that such program for Ukraine could be available in early 2023.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko has said the government estimated the need for financing a state budget deficit in 2023 at varying from $3 billion to $4 billion a month, compared to $5 billion a month in 2022, an amount that Ukraine has never been able to raise.

A Ukrainian draft budget for 2023 passed at the first reading envisions $38 billion in foreign funding for financing a budget deficit, or about $3.2 billion a month, including $15 billion from the IMF.