February 13, 2017 / 4:09 PM / 6 months ago

Ukraine negotiations heading in right direction - Lagarde

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde attends the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 12, 2017.Stringer

DUBAI (Reuters) - Negotiations between the International Monetary Fund and Ukraine to allow the release of the next tranche of aid for the country are heading in the right direction, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Monday.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman told Reuters on Friday that Kiev expected to reach a deal with the IMF by the end of this month on the latest series of loans under Ukraine's $17.5 billion (14 billion pound), four-year bailout.

Lagarde, in an interview with Reuters while visiting Dubai, avoided giving a time frame but said the fact that the bailout had progressed so far was a good sign.

"I am confident that the negotiations are heading in the right direction, that some of the key issues have been resolved," she said.

"There are still a few outstanding matters that need to be ironed out and negotiated between the team and the Ukrainian authorities."

Lagarde did not elaborate on the remaining issues. Groysman said on Friday that the IMF needed to have "realistic" expectations for what Ukraine could achieve in terms of judicial reforms, which were holding up talks.

Reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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