07:36 GMT25 February 2020
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    Ukraine does not need next IMF tranche says PM

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    Ukraine does not need a new tranche of an International Monetary Fund loan, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Friday, the day after the fund said it would delay its mission to Kiev because of its failure to fulfil loan conditions.

    Ukraine does not need a new tranche of an International Monetary Fund loan, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Friday, the day after the fund said it would delay its mission to Kiev because of its failure to fulfil loan conditions.

    "Do we need it now? My answer is: we do not need it now," Azarov told journalists.

    On Thursday, the IMF postponed its mission to Ukraine to unfreeze a $15 billion loan program from late August to October, as Kiev, which has already received two tranches of more than $3.4 billion each and expected to get another one in September, delays an increase of the retirement age and a rise in household gas prices.

    The IMF launched its program for Ukraine last summer but froze it later because of Kiev's refusal to implement unpopular austerity measures. Since then the government has only met the IMF's budget deficit target.

    Plans to increase the pension age to 62 from 60 for men and to 60 from 55 to women were met with rallies.

    In July, parliament passed the pension reform bill but parliamentary speaker Vladimir Litvin later said it would not become valid from September as expected for technical reasons.

    Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko warned in June that without the IMF loan Ukraine may face a Greek-style crisis.

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