KIEV, March 28 The International Monetary Fund
and Ukraine are discussing disbursement of $3 billion in the
first tranche of a $14-18 billion bailout package, Ukraine's
finance minister said on Friday.
The deal, announced on Thursday and which will also unlock
further credits to a total of $27 billion, is intended to help
the heavily-indebted ex-Soviet republic stabilise its economy
after months of political turmoil.
"They (the IMF) are ready today to talk about (disbursing) a
first tranche of $3 billion, of which half will go to the
National Bank and half to the state budget," the minister,
Oleksander Shlapak, told journalists on the margins of a
The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday night approved an
anti-crisis law supporting the IMF programme of reforms that
accompanies the financial package, and which the Fund says is
necessary to get the economy back on track and avoid a debt
The agreement is also subject to approval by IMF management
and the executive board, which will consider it in April.
Conditions sought by the IMF include allowing the national
currency, the hryvnia, to float more freely against the dollar,
increasing the price of gas for domestic consumers, overhauling
finances in the energy sector and following a more stringent
The Kiev government has already taken a step towards the IMF
by announcing it will raise gas prices for domestic users by
more than 50 per cent from May 1.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing By Richard Balmforth;
Editing by Toby Chopra)