Zelensky had a phone conversation with the IMF chief / REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine has implemented all the structural benchmarks stipulated in a program for cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"To date, all structural benchmarks stipulated for the revision of the IMF program have been completed," he said during a phone conversation with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, the presidential press service said on November 17.

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According to Zelensky, Ukraine has not stopped at fulfilling its obligations under the stand-by program. Among other things, Ukraine has approved the reform of customs and tax service, the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank are actively working to reduce the share of non-performing loans in the banking system.

The president stressed that he consistently supported the independence of the National Bank. The parties also discussed the importance of adopting a balanced budget for 2021, as well as the risks of the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) to repeal some provisions of anticorruption legislation.

Zelensky says that, as never before, there is a common stand of all anticorruption bodies, NGOs, the diplomatic corps, international partners to resolve the situation and fully restore the country's anticorruption infrastructure. Ukraine has restarted the work of the Legal Reform Commission with the participation of international experts to develop comprehensive bills on judicial reform, he added.

He says that due to the fight against the coronavirus epidemic and the economic challenges associated with COVID-19, the first revision of the Fund's program and the launch of the mission would be an important signal for the domestic and foreign markets.

"Our teams enjoy strong trust and work closely to complete the negotiations and welcome the IMF mission as soon as possible," he said.

Georgieva, in turn, stressed that the work of the prime minister with the Fund's team had strengthened the relations between the parties at a high level and allowed achieving tangible progress. She also noted the quick reaction and measures taken by the Ukrainian authorities after the decision of the CCU, and added that the Fund appreciated the cooperation of NBU Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko with the IMF team.

Ukraine-IMF cooperation

  • On June 9, 2020, the IMF's Executive Board adopted an 18-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine with funding equivalent to SDR 3.6 billion (about US$5 billion) aimed at helping Ukraine overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On June 12, 2020, Ukraine received the first disbursement from the IMF loan under the new 18-month SBA between Ukraine and the Fund in the amount of US$2.1 billion.
  • On October 22, 2020, NBU Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko said at a briefing that there was no uncertainty in Ukraine's relations with the International Monetary Fund.
  • On November 8, 2020, Shevchenko left for an official working visit to Washington, D.C., to discuss the state and prospects of cooperation between Ukraine and international partners. During the visit, meetings with top officials of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) were planned.