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Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have softened their positions in the talks, Ukraine’s Minister of Revenue and Duties Oleksandr Klimenko has said, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
"As far as the IMF, today our positions on the tariff, fiscal and monetary policy are much closer, and we have received a positive signal from the IMF. We are ready to finish talks and start getting loans, "the Minister said.
Klimenko also emphasized that the IMF responds to the arguments of the Ukrainian side at these negotiations. "We are getting as close as possible, and I think the actual steps of movement will be evident: we will see the real progress in a week or two," the minister said.
Experts note that Ukraine and the IMF came to an agreement on the most painful issue for the government about raising tariffs for the population.
Ukraine earlier was required to increase gas and heating price for the population by about 40%. There were several IMF conditions the government was not ready to accept. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said they included freezing the base/minimum/total wages at current levels, significantly reducing expenditure for budget targets, cutting energy subsidies and phase out the VAT exemption for agriculture and other industries.
Government analysts say these tough conditions were one of the reasons why the Cabinet decided to put on hold the EU Association Agreement scheduled to be signed in Vilnius on November 28-29. The government hoped that the EU would affect the Fund to soften them, offsetting losses of Ukraine from the Russian pressure.