March 4, 2016 / 10:11 AM / 3 years ago

Ukraine will get $300 mln from Japan in April, Finance Minister says

KIEV, March 4 (Reuters) - Ukraine will get a $300 million loan from Japan in April, Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko said on Friday - a boost for state finances, which have not received international funding since last year.

The money “will be transferred into the general fund of the state budget and will help us finance all expenditure,” Yaresko said at a joint briefing with Japan’s ambassador to Ukraine.

Last year, Ukraine lost out on $5.4 billion in international loans to shore up its war-torn economy. Disbursements were delayed by concern at the International Monetary Fund and other lenders that a promised reform drive had stalled.

On Thursday, the central bank chief warned that Ukraine would not get the next tranche of loans from the IMF, worth $1.7 billion, unless it resolves a political crisis that threatens to break up the government and force snap elections.

Yaresko said she could not predict when the next tranche would be disbursed, but that “there were no major issues” with the memorandum of understanding that Ukraine must send to the IMF to get the programme back on track.

Ukraine agreed last year to a four-year programme from the IMF worth a total of $17.5 billion - part of a broader $40 billion international bailout deal.

In exchange, it promised to root out the corruption and vested interests that had helped push the economy to the brink of bankruptcy, but damaging disclosures in February highlighted a lack of progress in reform.

The loan from Japan, which was agreed in December 2015, is for 20 years at an interest rate of less than 1 percent, Yaresko said. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Larry King)

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