16 Nov 2023 10:55

Ukrainian Finance Ministry, National Bank say ready for reduced U.S. financial assistance scenario

MOSCOW. Nov 16 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Finance Ministry and National Bank are more optimistic about the resumption of budget funding by the United States that may seem, while also having a scenario in case of further suspension of such funding, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said.

"We are ready for that [a scenario when U.S. funding stops], yet I think that other stakeholders and Ukrainian society are not prepared. Therefore, we believe that it is too early to talk about this scenario, because it may be unpleasant," Ukrainian media quoted Marchenko as saying at an annual IMF meeting in Kiev on Wednesday.

"We know what to do this year. We understand how we should act next year. It is important that sustainable cooperation with the IMF remains at the center of understanding," National Bank head Andrei Pyshny said.

Commenting on his statements about the unconfirmed $29 billion in external budget financing in 2024 out of the $41 billion planned, Marchenko noted that they have their target audience: partners should convey that Ukraine is uncomfortable with such uncertainty, but this is in no way an accusation.

In his words, the government and the National Bank are monitoring the situation and relying on the wisdom of the American people and their representatives. "At the same time, we already know about the support of the administration [of the White House], it is clearly stated and articulated in the relevant acts of legislation, so in this regard we are more optimistic than it would seem in the messages," Marchenko said.

The minister also said that Ukraine had expressed its desire in communication with the EU to have more funds next year from the 50-billion-euros Ukraine Facility program, designed for four years.

He said that a search for alternative sources is underway: negotiations are in progress with the governments of Canada, Japan, Norway, and South Korea.

Marchenko said earlier they were planning to receive 18 billion euros from the European Union, $8.5 billion from the United States and $5.4 billion from the IMF next year to finance the state budget deficit.