The tasks of the Ukrainian delegation to the talks with the International Monetary Fund got somewhat easier after the signing of the Russia-Ukraine agreements on the natural gas price. Ukraine's Vice Premier Serhiy Tihipko said this in an interview with the Ukrainian press,  UKRINFORM reported.

"After revision of the gas deals, the tonality of the talks with the IMF changed for positive," the Vice Premier noted.

Tihipko explained that restoration of cooperation with the IMF is a pledge of further cooperation with the World Bank group. In his words, two programs are being prepared to make it possible to receive from the WB about USD 800 million for covering the deficit and financing investment projects in power industry and other branches. "I believe it will be possible also to count on 650 million from the European Union," Tihipko added.

He said it is extremely difficult to finance the national budget deficit at the cost of privatization, as well as loans from home or foreign investors. Within the framework of the new program for cooperation with the IMF, Ukraine may receive USD 19-20 billion in the course of 2.5 years.

This is particularly important, because the Ukrainian leadership has to create a program that would help gradually resume economic growth. Among the key factors he listed immediate assistance to domestic banks. "Private sector must have banking support: cheap loans for long terms to be able to recover," Tihipko noted.

He said it is also necessary to conduct structural reforms, including extra privatization, deregulation of the economy, and branch reforms (in agriculture, power industry and other branches).

Tihipko also named a number of items on which the positions of the IMF and the Ukrainian delegation essentially differ. That is, particularly, raising social standards for the poorest layers of population, which will cost the state about UAH 26 billion (1 USD - 7.925 UAH) and may result in 2.5% of budget deficit. "Many of the Fund directors object this sum, but the Ukrainian party must convince the international organization of the necessity and consistency of this move," the Vice Premier underlined.

As reported, Ukraine's official delegation with Tihipko at the head took part in the spring meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund management.

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