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Ukraine's cooperation with the IMF - unfulfilled hopes for deeper reforms. OSW Commentary No. 52, 2011-06-15

Matuszak, Slawomir (2011) Ukraine's cooperation with the IMF - unfulfilled hopes for deeper reforms. OSW Commentary No. 52, 2011-06-15. [Policy Paper]

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    The Party of Regions took power in early 2010, after Ukraine had been plunged deep in economic crisis. Over the next year, with the external markets recovering, the country’s economic situation started to improve gradually. Ukraine’s economic stabilisation was also strengthened by its resumed cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, which provided for a loan worth $15.1 billion. The issuing of successive tranches of the loan was made dependent on the implementation of a comprehensive reform programme. The cooperation went quite smoothly at first; however, as the economic situation in Ukraine improved, the reformist zeal of the Ukrainian government started to fade, and obstacles began piling up. As a result, Ukraine was refused the third tranche, scheduled for this March, and for the moment the credit line remains frozen. Even though the IMF has numerous reservations about the Ukrainian government’s economic policy, the fundamental condition for resuming cooperation is reform of the pension system, which the parliament should adopt. The difficulties with fulfilling the obligations made to the IMF reflect the wider problem with implementing reforms in Ukraine, as the Party of Regions promised after taking power. Changes which do not affect the interests of influential lobbies are quite easy to carry out. Often, however, these changes are not conducive to the economy’s liberalisation; moreover, the influential lobbies are successful in blocking reforms that could harm their businesses. Another impediment to the changes is that some reforms are likely to bring about painful social consequences, and that can affect public support for the ruling group. Even though theoretically possible, it does not seem likely that Ukraine’s cooperation with the IMF will be terminated. But even if this cooperation is continued, deeper reforms in Ukraine are likely to be postponed until after the parliamentary elections in autumn 2012.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other international institutions > IMF
    Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2014 14:20
    Number of Pages: 7
    Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:20

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