(Updates with details on Ukraine crisis; adds IMF conditions
for aid and further comments from IMF spokesman)
By Elvina Nawaguna
WASHINGTON, April 24 The International Monetary
Fund on Thursday said its board planned to meet on April 30 to
consider an aid package for Ukraine, saying that Kiev had
supplied the necessary documents to determine whether
conditions for a bailout had been met.
The IMF tentatively agreed in late March to provide a $14
billion-$18 billion two-year aid package to help Ukraine recover
from months of political and economic turmoil.
"We're in the process of completing the steps necessary for
board consideration," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters
during a weekly briefing. "Staff are checking these documents to
verify the details, if they're in line with the program
As part of the conditions for the aid, the IMF expects
Ukraine to implement major reforms in its energy and financial
sectors, which included raising the price of its domestic gas.
Months of upheaval from anti-government protests and
Russia's subsequent annexation of its Crimea region have thrown
Ukraine's economy on the brink of bankruptcy.
The former Soviet republic has said its economy will likely
contract by 3 percent by the end of this year as a result of all
the chaos and mismanagement.
The IMF bailout would help Kiev meet its looming debt
obligations and avoid a potential debt default.
Regarding whether Ukraine could use the IMF bailout funds to
pay for its outstanding gas debts with Russia, Rice said that
the program "provides room for settling gas payment arrears and
making all current payments on time."
Rice said the IMF aid to Ukraine is expected to unlock
additional international assistance to Ukraine of about $15
billion over the same two year period.
Ukraine has twice previously failed to clinch IMF funds
after falling short on some of the conditions.
"The Fund only approves the use of its resources if it is
satisfied that the member has the capacity to implement the
program and is committed to do so, in this case, we believe that
this is the case," Rice said.
The IMF board will make a final decision on the amount of
aid to be delivered to Ukraine when it meets.
(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Paul Simao and Diane