Ukraine meets conditions for next IMF tranche, President Zelensky says

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that the country expects to receive a second payment from its $5bn IMF programme after fulfilling all its agreed commitments, news wires reported. He said Ukraine had fulfilled its reform commitments, passing legislation to open the land market, overhaul the judicial system and strengthen the central bank. "We have done everything as I promised ... and everything that we need for Ukraine," Zelensky told reporters.

"I think we are ready to receive a tranche," he added, without specifying what the size it might be. Ukrainian officials previously said Kiev hoped to receive at least $700 million.

The IMF approved the standby loan facility in June 2020 and disbursed a first tranche of $2.1bn to help the Ukrainian economy, which was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Further loans have been frozen due to the slow pace of reforms in Ukraine and concerns over central bank independence.

Zelenskiy batted away speculation about whether he would replace National Bank of Ukraine Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko after several senior officials quit the central bank last month and criticised Shevchenko's leadership, Reuters noted. "There are many different rumours about the situation in the National Bank," Zelensky said. "For me, as president, this is an independent institution, I would not want to interfere."

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