Director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Poul M. Thomsen has said the Fund supports the intention of the Ukrainian authorities to widen the budget deficit over the coronavirus pandemic and is confident Ukraine will soon meet the conditions for launching a new supported program.
"Ukraine is being severely affected by the pandemic. The government is taking measures that will result in a very significant increase in the fiscal deficit. We fully support this," he told April 2020 European Department press briefing.
"Fortunately, during the last several years in the context of the IMF's supported program, Ukraine has achieved significant measures of macroeconomic stability. The banking system stability has improved. Inflation has come down. External deficits have come down. Fiscal deficits have come down significantly. Public debt has come down and foreign reserves are significantly higher, well over 20 billion. And that gives, certainly, Ukraine the buffers it needs to undertake the immediate policy reaction," he said.
According to Thomsen, the IMF is now in discussions with Ukraine on the new program.
"These discussions are well advanced and I think they are going well. There is a number of - a few issues outstanding, and I am confident that they will be overcome soon and that we can recommend a program to our Board. Say we are well advanced and that will, of course, give Ukraine more resources to enlarge its policy space in dealing with this crisis," he added.