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IMF to convene meeting on Ukraine bailout

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday that its executive board tentatively scheduled a meeting to consider an aid package for Ukraine on April 30.

"We are in the process of completing the steps necessary for board consideration," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters during a news briefing in Washington D.C..

He said the IMF has received documentation from the Ukrainian authorities covering all prior actions, measures that a country agrees to take before the IMF's executive board approves a financing program.

"Staff are checking these documents to verify the details, if they're in line with the program understanding," he added. "On that basis, the board meeting is planned for April 30."

According to the spokesman, the proposed stand-by arrangement would be in the range of 14 billion to 18 billion U.S. dollars over a two-year period, and the Fund's contribution is expected to unlock additional international assistance of about 15 billion dollars over the same two-year period for the country.

The specific amount of the IMF's aid to Ukraine will be determined by the IMF board when it meets Wednesday.

Created in 1952, the stand-by arrangement is a commonly-used lending instrument for IMF members who need financing to overcome balance of payment problems.

The 188-member global lender reached a staff-level agreement with the authorities of Ukraine on a two-year loan program of up to 18 billion dollars in late March after sending a fact-finding mission team to the country. The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF executive board.

The IMF's most recent programs with Ukraine went off track as the Ukrainian authorities failed to live up to the agreed-upon policies. It offered a multi-year loan program of 15 billion U.S. dollars to Ukraine in 2010, but ceased to provide funding at the end of 2011 as the country did not stick to the reforms measures it had committed.

[Source: Xinhua, Washington, 24Apr14]

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