IMF poised to announce $15.6bn lending programme for Ukraine

The IMF is finalising a four-year, $15.6bn lending programme for Ukraine, with a person close to the talks saying an announcement is “imminent”.

The multilateral lender has been under pressure to pull together a more comprehensive aid package for the country, which has been economically devastated by Russia’s invasion early last year. The person said an announcement would come in a few days.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the IMF affirmed that policy discussions with Ukrainian authorities had taken place in Warsaw, Poland, between March 8 and 15.

“The discussions between IMF staff and the Ukrainian authorities were productive and very good progress has been made towards agreement on a set of policies that could underpin a Fund-supported programme,” said Vahram Stepanyan, the Fund’s resident representative to Ukraine. “Building on this progress, staff and the authorities expect to conclude the discussions in the coming days.”

Ukraine previously said it was facing a $38bn deficit this year, while the World Bank has estimated that more than half of its energy infrastructure has been destroyed by Russian attacks, compounding the pressure on its economy.

The size of the loan had been pegged at between $14bn and $16bn in initial discussions.

The fund previously granted Ukraine $2.7bn of emergency funding and in December approved a four-month programme for the country aimed at both shoring up the economy and preparing it for a significant IMF loan.

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