IMF says staff made 'very good progress' in talks about new loan for Ukraine
WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said its staff made "very good progress" in talks with Ukraine on a set of policies that could underpin a new IMF lending program for the war-torn country, and the talks could be finalized in coming days.
Vahram Stepanyan, the IMF resident representative to Ukraine, said IMF staff held productive discussions with Ukrainian officials in Warsaw from March 8-15 on their request for what would be the country's largest loan package since Russia's full-scale invasion over a year ago.
"The discussions between IMF staff and the Ukrainian authorities were productive and very good progress has been made towards agreement on a set of policies that could underpin a fund-supported program," he said.
"Building on this progress, staff and the authorities expect to conclude the discussions in the coming days."
Ukrainian officials have said they hope to agree a $15-billion multi-year program with the IMF.
Two sources familiar with the talks said an agreement was expected by the end of the week.
The package, which would still need to be approved by the IMF's board, would help unlock lending from other sources. It would be the global lender's biggest loan to a country involved in an active conflict.
Group of Seven rich countries are expected to provide the financial backing required by the IMF to proceed, although details have not been released.
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