IMF to take decision on Ukraine aid on April 30
Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will take a final decision on a huge rescue plan for embattled Ukraine on April 30, a spokesman said Thursday.
The global crisis lender agreed tentatively last month to lend Kiev 14-18 billion USD over two years to lead a broader support package for the economy.
The amount is part of a larger 27 billion USD plan announced on March 28 to help the new government salvage the country's finances while pressing for reforms.
The broader plan involves contributions from the United States, Western Europe and other donors.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice could not say what the precise amount of the IMF program would be.
Since the bailout was first revealed, the IMF has sought for more contributions from other multilateral and bilateral lenders to lower its own portion.
The decision to move ahead comes despite heightening tensions over the country in the wake of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.
Russia ordered new military exercises today in regions on Ukraine's eastern border, as Kiev seeks to stifle pro-Moscow secessionists.
Asked about moving on the rescue plan amid those tensions, Rice said the Fund is not a stranger to working in such environments.
"It is not uncommon for the IMF to be working in a politically tense or fragile situation," he said.
Rice also said that, in its data calculations on the Ukraine economy, it continues to include Crimea, whose annexation by Russia in March has been branded illegal by the United States and Europe.
But he said that the Ukraine government's lack of control over the region would not impair its ability to meet targets for the economy under the aid program, because Crimea accounts for "a relatively modest" 3.7 percent of Ukraine's gross domestic product.