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Ukraine can service foreign debt until July without extra cash - FinMin official
February 12, 2016 / 4:26 PM / 2 years ago

Ukraine can service foreign debt until July without extra cash - FinMin official

KIEV, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has $2 billion in its accounts, enough to service foreign debt until July if international loans are further delayed by slow reforms and political infighting, a ministry official said on Friday.

Ukraine’s leaders pledged to root out corruption when the country got a $17.5 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund. But the IMF has warned that the programme is at risk from the continued influence of vested interests on policy-making and within state-run companies.

“The finance ministry has $2 billion on its accounts and this is enough to service foreign debts until practically the end of July, even in the worst-case scenario,” Halyna Pakhachuk, the head of the ministry’s debt department, said in a meeting.

Ukraine has been waiting since October for a third tranche of IMF loans, worth $1.7 billion. The disbursement of other international financial aid, including from the United States and European Union, also hinges on the IMF’s view of the progress Ukraine has made on its reforms.

On Thursday, President Petro Poroshenko told the Fund he was committed to pursuing reforms to keep the bailout programme on track. The government has also pledged to redouble efforts to push promised policies through parliament.

The finance ministry’s Pakhachuk said external markets remained essentially closed to Ukraine and that the ministry hopes to borrow a further $1.6 billion via local bond auctions.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Larry King

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