The International Monetary Fund said on Friday Ukraine would get a third tranche of its loan provided the country's authorities met conditions including winning parliament's approval to amend banking legislation, Kyiv Post reported.

The IMF's Ukraine mission chief Ceyla Pazarbasioglu said the Fund's Executive Board would take a decision on the $3.3 billion tranche within three to four weeks and expected "prior actions" undertaken by Ukraine to be completed by that time.

She praised the government and central bank for creating financial stability and improving the banking sector's outlook.

But she urged parliament -- its work paralysed for weeks by opposition protests -- to approve amendments to banking legislation, and said Ukraine, gripped by almost continuous political upheaval for more than four years, needed a "strong political consensus" in the run up to a presidential election.

Seated alongside Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the mission chief said a "staff-level agreement" had been reached after a two-week mission punctuated by "long, difficult discussions".

Ukraine, whose economy shrank more than 20 percent in the first quarter of 2009, clinched the $16.4 billion loan deal with the IMF late last year.

Pazarbasioglu told a news conference her team would now start the process of making a recommendation about the third loan tranche.

"The next tranche is about 3.3 billion," she said. "And as I said before, it will be considered by the Executive Board upon completion of prior actions."

Conny Lotze, an IMF spokeswoman accompanying the mission, said by telephone: "There are a few things that have not been gone through, like the amendments to the bank resolution process. Basically these things need to be done before the Board can convene and make a decision to approve the review."


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