IMF: Ukraine central bank independence must be preserved under new governor

KYIV, July 2 (Reuters) - Ukraine must maintain the independence of the central bank following the resignation of governor Yakiv Smoliy, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

Smoliy unexpectedly resigned on Wednesday, citing “systematic political pressure” that was preventing him from fulfilling his duties as governor.

“Under his leadership, Ukraine has made important strides in achieving price stability, amply demonstrating that an independent central bank is a key element of modern macroeconomic policymaking,” an IMF spokesman said in a statement.

“That is why the independence of the NBU is at the centre of Ukraine’s Fund-supported programme, and why it must be maintained under his successor.” (Reporting by Matthias Williams; Editing by Catherine Evans)