April 14, 2015 / 8:46 AM / 4 years ago

Ukraine, creditors must agree debt deal by June: IMF official

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine must agree a restructuring deal with creditors to plug a $15-billion funding gap before an International Monetary Fund review of its bailout programme in June, an IMF official said on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s officials have set themselves a June deadline to complete debt talks under a $40 billion funding package backed by the IMF. Many analysts are sceptical the planned timeframe is realistic.

“It is vital that Ukraine and the creditors reach an agreement ... before our June review. We want and expect that outcome,” the IMF’s first deputy managing director, David Lipton, said in a statement.

“It will be an important consideration in that review. Just as IMF needs assurances that Ukraine’s reforms will succeed, we need assurances that its financing is secured,” he added.

Last week, the five leading holders of Ukrainian sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds formed a creditors’ committee for the debt talks, but said they resisted plans for a writedown under an IMF-led bailout deal.

This could slow negotiations as Kiev has made clear it will need to cut the face value of the debt, dismissing suggestions that it could resolve its financial difficulties by just extending bond maturities.

Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Andrew Heavens

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