The World Bank (WB) has noted the risk of the termination of a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to the bank's Country Partnership Strategy for Ukraine for the period covering 2012-2016, which was approved by the World Bank's Board of Directors, UKRINFORM reports.

"A key macroeconomic risk is related to access to external financing. The existing Stand-by Arrangement with the IMF is at risk of being discontinued and rollover risks are exacerbated by large debt service repayments falling due in 2012, including to the fund," reads the document.

According to the World Bank, "sustaining progress in critical areas such as fiscal consolidation is predicated on politically difficult reforms such as energy tariff increases for households and utilities and addressing structural problems in the gas sector will severely test the government's resolve, especially ahead of the parliamentary elections in 2012."

In addition, the World Bank noted that the exposure to European banks was high and Europe's banking crisis or bank deleveraging could cause financial instability in Ukraine.

"These risks cannot be mitigated by the World Bank; however, the experience during the 2008-09 crisis also suggests that the authorities can and do act quickly at times of crisis to regain access to financing," reads the document.

Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that Ukraine should not wait for the receipt of external financial resources.

The presidential administration said that Ukraine would not face default, even without the money of the International Monetary Fund.

The Ukrainian government is now in talks with the International Monetary Fund on the provision of the next tranche of the Stand-By Arrangement. However, the IMF is continuing to insist that Ukraine raise gas prices for the public in order to balance the financial positions of Ukraine's state oil and gas company Naftogaz. The state holding lacks USD 500 million each month to cover losses.

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