KIEV, August 20 (RIA Novosti) — Ukraine has proposed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lump together the third and fourth tranches of its financial assistance to Ukraine, giving the country a bailout of up to $2.3 billion by the end of 2014, the Ukrainian finance minister said Wednesday.
"We want the third and fourth installments to be combined. Thereby, we expect an installment of about $2.2-2.3 billion and we want it by the end of this year," Oleksandr Shlapak said.
Kiev received the first IMF loan tranche of $3.16 billion in early May after the IMF approved a $17 billion loan to Ukraine in the form of a two-year stabilization program.
Ukraine is expected to receive a total of $27 billion from international donors such as the IMF, the World Bank, the United States and the European Union. More than half of the amount – $14 billion – is expected this year.
Despite the ongoing political crisis and military conflict in Ukraine and its worsening economic prospects, the IMF refused to consider reassessing the loan program.
The funds are expected to help Ukraine continue austerity measures that were announced in February by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to secure a loan from the IMF in a bid to stave off mounting debt.
To receive the IMF funds, Ukraine agreed to a severe austerity program that includes shedding 24,000 government jobs, raising taxes, selling off state assets and withdrawing subsidies on natural gas.