The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will soon approve the first disbursement under a new Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with Ukraine for the next 18 months.

This was disclosed by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in a recent phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the presidential press service reported on May 29.

"Thank you for the stable partnership and constructive dialogue. I am glad that the IMF Board will approve the program of cooperation with Ukraine in the near future," Zelensky told Georgieva.

Read alsoUkraine expects US$5 bln IMF loan approval on June 5 – PM Shmyhal

The IMF managing director also welcomed the adoption of the law on improving the mechanisms regulating banking activities, noting that it protects taxpayers in Ukraine.

The two officials agreed that the transition to the stand-by program greatly facilitates the allocation of financial support during the pandemic.

What is more, they discussed the coronavirus crisis in the world and in Ukraine. "Unfortunately, the statistics of those infected per day in Ukraine are still quite high, but at the same time the number of those who have recovered has been growing. We have been on the plateau of morbidity for more than a week now," Zelensky said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, an IMF staff team led by Ivanna Vladkova Hollar concluded remote discussions with the Ukrainian authorities on May 21 and reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies for a new 18-month SBA.

The new SBA, with a requested access of SDR 3.6 billion (equivalent to US$5 billion), aims to provide balance of payments and budget support to help the authorities address the effects of the COVID-19 shock, while consolidating achievements to date, and moving forward on important structural reforms to reduce key vulnerabilities.

The National Bank of Ukraine predicts the first US$2 billion disbursement from the IMF will arrive in the second quarter of 2020.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on May 29 that Ukraine expected the IMF's Executive Board would decide on the SBA at a meeting on June 5, and the first tranche worth US$1.9 billion would be transferred the following day.