On the evening of March 1st, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent Ukraine the final version of the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Its signing will allow the Fund to consider the allocation of a fourth tranche to Ukraine amounting to $1 billion within the program as announced on Thursday, March 2nd, by the Chairwoman of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Valeriya Hontareva, during a press conference in Kyiv. "On the part of the NBU, everything is ready – I am ready to sign it today. In terms of the Finance Ministry, the Prime Minister, and others – it is better to ask them," Hontareva said, as quoted by Interfax-Ukraine.
Hontareva expressed hope that the document will be signed soon. According to her, after it is signed, it will take another two to three weeks for the final decision to be made by the IMF Board of Directors. The head of the NBU also noted that after the receipt of the fourth tranche from the IMF, the central bank plans to continue the liberalization of currency regulations.
Hontareva did not rule out that this memorandum with the IMF may be the last with her signature. During the press conference, the NBU Chairwoman admitted that she may soon resign. However, the Bank will announce this officially a month before her retirement. In response to questions about the reasons for her resignation, Hontareva indicated the "abnormal situation" that has developed around the head of the NBU, and in particular, the actions of representatives of the nationalist forces who had placed a coffin with an effigy of her near the main entrance to the NBU the day before.
The EFF credit program for Ukraine was initiated in 2015 and is designed to continue for four years. About 17 billion U.S. dollars in total funding was intended as part of the program. So far, Ukraine has already received three tranches totaling 7.7 billion dollars from this program.
According to Hontareva, Ukraine’s international reserves total 15.5 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of February.