Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Ron van Rooden, head of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) mission to Ukraine, in Kyiv last week, the president’s press service announced.
The meeting was also attended by Yakiv Smolii, head of the National Bank of Ukraine, and Finance Minister Oksana Markarova.
“The cooperation is continuing. The IMF has always been a reliable partner to Ukraine at times when we need support, and Ukraine in turn will also remain a partner that meets its obligations,” Zelensky stressed.
During his meeting with the IMF mission, he commented on parliament’s “procrastination with the adoption of reformatory bills”.
“Unfortunately, we still see a delay with the adoption of reformatory bills, which citizens, businesses, and the financial community have been waiting years for. I hope that the new convocation of parliament will make up for this, and provide a basis for receiving the next tranche of financing from the fund,” the president remarked.
The new head of state said that several factors had influenced his decision to disband Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. “I think that this Verkhovna Rada has lost the ability to make responsible decisions,” he said.
Zelensky said that his team has been drafting a new bill on prosecution for illicit enrichment that will “turn the anti-corruption organs into an important instrument for bringing corrupt officials to justice”.
“This week we will definitely present this bill to parliament, and we truly hope that the MPs will approve it. But if it doesn’t happen, that will be yet another indication that this is a parliament that cannot work,” Zelensky remarked.
National Bank Chairperson Yakov Smolii in turn emphasized that continuing the cooperation with the IMF is extremely important for maintaining financial stability in Ukraine.
“By the end of the year, our country needs to pay more than 5 billion US dollars on foreign and domestic foreign currency bonds. The total international reserves are currently 19.3 billion US dollars, and this is enough to repay the sovereign debts. At the same time, cooperation with the IMF is also access to other financing, a guarantee that the structural reforms will continue, without which the long-term steady growth of the Ukrainian economy is impossible,” Mr. Smolii observed.
The IMF representatives expressed their willingness to continue discussing further cooperation with Ukraine as soon as a new government has been formed after the snap elections. Before this, there will be regular consultations in order to establish a new agenda for reform.
“We see no obstacles to cooperation. After parliamentary elections, after the government has been formed, we are ready to immediately come to Kyiv and continue the talks on how to provide our support,” said Ron van Rooden, head of the IMF mission to Ukraine.
He commented that the snap elections in the Verkhovna Rada are a new opportunity to expedite transformation in the country.
The IMF representative also stressed the importance of the continued operation of the anti-corruption institutions – the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office, and the High Anti-corruption Court.