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IMF News Briefing Ukraine / Sierra Leone

Release Date: 01 Feb 2018
The IMF looks forward to working with Ukraine authorities to address concerns over a draft law on establishing an anti-corruption court in line with its commitments under a bailout program, spokesman Bill Murray told reporters Thursday (January 1) in Washington.

“We look forward to working with the authorities and our international partners to address concerns regarding the current draft law on the anti-corruption court and bring it fully in line with Ukraine’s commitments under the IMF program and the recommendations of the Venice Commission,” said Murray.

“As we have noted previously, with the establishment of the anti-corruption court consistent with the Venice Commission recommendations is a central component of the IMF supported program with Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed optimism last week in Davos that an outstanding loan tranche may be unfrozen as early as April with continued cooperation with the IMF, he said in an interview with Bloomberg January 25th.

Murray said that the timing of the next IMF official visit to Ukraine has not yet been set.

The bailout has been held up due to the government of Ukraine missing deadlines to follow through on reform measures, including the establishment of an anti-corruption court and revamping pensions.

The planned disbursement of loan funds to Sierra Leone has been delayed due to the slow pace of implementing agreed on reforms, Murray said.

Sierra Leone continues to meet its IMF debt service, but completion of the review has been delayed due to a weak budget revenue outlook, said Murray.

The IMF’s representative in Freetown Ms. Iyabo Masha issued a statement Wednesday clarifying the status of the review.

“The completion of the review, which would have enabled the disbursement of the second tranche of program financing, has been delayed relative to the anticipated timetable of December 2017. The key reason for this delay is due to a weak budget revenue outlook, where measures that were to be taken under the program to increase revenue did not yield,” Iyabo said.

“The IMF is currently working with the government to identify appropriate corrective measures that can be taken and when.”
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