Ukraine's govt. seeks parliamentary debate on IMF talks

Ukraine's govt. seeks parliamentary debate on IMF talks

PanARMENIAN.Net - Ukraine's government will ask parliament to meet Feb 23 - 27 to discuss budget changes "vital" for the successful completion of talks with the International Monetary Fund, Interfax news agency quoted a deputy prime minister as saying on Monday, Feb 9, according to Reuters.

An IMF team is in Kiev for talks with Ukrainian authorities about boosting financial support to Ukraine and said in January it would support a bigger, longer-term funding plan than its current $17 billion program, but did not give exact figures.

"This meeting is vital in order for us to be able to conclude successfully negotiations with the IMF mission," Vyacheslav Kirilenko was quoted as saying at a meeting of parliamentary deputies.

The Fund, along with Ukraine's other Western backers, has said that any extra financial help will hinge on Kiev's ability to implement long-promised reforms.

Its latest mission was due to leave Ukraine at the end of January, but the visit was extended amid speculation the IMF was holding off from a final decision after a sharp escalation in the pro-Russian separatist conflict in east Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is due to meet the leaders of Russia, France and Germany for further talks on de-escalation on Wednesday.

The conflict has helped push Ukraine close to bankruptcy, prompting Kiev to seek talks with sovereign bondholders as well as an increase in foreign aid to plug an estimated $15 billion funding gap.

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