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Kiev Discusses With IMF Solely Short-Term Program at Present

© AFP 2022 / SERGEI SUPINSKYA Ukrainian helicopter flies above the headquarters of the Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region
A Ukrainian helicopter flies above the headquarters of the Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region - Sputnik International
Ukraine's Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko announced Tuesday that Ukraine was discussing the country's financial needs for a three or four year program.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Ukraine is discussing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) establishing a 12- to 15-month program that will provide the country with the finances it needs, Ukraine's Minister of Finance, Natalie Jaresko said Tuesday.

"We are not discussing our financial needs for a three or four year program, we are really focused on 12 to 15 months right now," Jaresko said.

Jaresko said the sum of funds for such an IMF program has not been agreed on yet.

“The numbers I can give you right now are the estimates that you see in the press,” she said, noting that the IMF specified a sum of $15 billion. “Now we are in the process of discussing that further.”

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As for restructuring of Ukraine’s debt, Jaresko said when the country requested extended IMF funding it intended to begin negotiations with debt holders.

"We have not started those consultations yet. We will start them after we complete the consultations with the IMF," she explained.

The IMF promised Ukraine $17 billion in bailout loans last spring that Kiev will have to pay back within two years.

Ukraine agreed to strict austerity program that includes shedding 24,000 government jobs, raising taxes, privatizing state assets and withdrawing subsidies on natural gas in order to receive the IMF funds in full.

However, the IMF said if the fighting in Ukraine continues the country will need more funds.

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said in January that Kiev hopes to receive $13 to $15 billion from international creditors, including from the United States and the European Union, over the next two years.

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Foreign advisors have provided assistance to the finance ministry to implement changes, Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.

“I've had advisors from the Ministry of Finance of Canada, helping me on the structure of my own team, getting me more efficient ministers,” Jaresko said on Tuesday. “I've had advisors from the Ministry of Finance of Germany, who worked with me on the structure of the ministry in general, making sure that it's a European ministry. And I had US treasury advisors in the area of debt management.”

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Jaresko said the advisors assisted her to ensure that the finance ministry is focusing on the right issues, is bringing in new ideas, and is not living in the past.

In December, the Ukrainian parliament approved a new cabinet, including three foreign nationals — US-born Jaresko as a finance minister, Georgian-born Alexander Kvitashvili as health minister, and Lithuanian-born Aivaras Abromavicius as economics minister.

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko granted the three a Ukrainian citizenship the same day they became ministers.

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