IMF stopped funding Ukraine over lack of reform - MP

Verkhovna Rada in Kiev © Stringer
The International Monetary Fund has not loaned money to Kiev due to the government’s failure to implement reforms and scant progress in stamping out corruption, according to Ukraine’s Fatherland Party deputy chairman Sergey Sobolev.

“When in government reports and elsewhere I hear the International Monetary Fund will cease to finance us, I made some inquiries and found that the last tranche the IMF made was 11 months ago. We’ve lived almost a year without IMF funding,” said the politician, quoted by the Ukrainian media.

The MP was incorrect as Ukraine received the last $1.7 billion tranche from the IMF six months ago in August.

"That’s because there is no fight against corruption and no real reforms here! We shouldn’t hope this funding will be given without very drastic steps, that will confirm a real fight against corruption and implementing reforms,” said the deputy chairman.

After the overthrow of the previous government, the IMF agreed to fund Ukraine to the tune of $17.5 billion. In 2015, Kiev got $6.7 billion, and was looking to get another two tranches of $1.7 billion. But the funding has been postponed.

“Without a substantial new effort to invigorate government reforms and fight corruption, it’s hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful,” said IMF Chief Christine Lagarde last week.

The IMF has been disappointed with the resignation of Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius. He left his post, saying he did not want to provide "cover" for widespread government corruption. Abromavicius accused Igor Kononenko, President Poroshenko's key business partner and a Ukrainian deputy, of blocking his reforms.