IMF, Ukraine reach $5.5b aid deal

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Washington

The International Monetary Fund said Saturday it had reached an agreement in principle with Ukraine on a new $5.5 billion, three-year aid program for the war-scarred country. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva welcomed the deal, adding it was subject to IMF management approval. Georgieva said she spoke by telephone on Saturday to President Volodymyr Zelensky and commended him on “impressive progress” on reforms and “sound economic policies.” “The President and I agreed that Ukraine’s economic success depends crucially on strengthening the rule of law, enhancing the integrity of the judiciary, and reducing the role of vested interests,” she said. She added that it was “paramount to safeguard the gains made in cleaning up the banking system and recover the large costs to the taxpayers from bank resolutions.” The IMF and other international donors have repeatedly pressed Kiev to attract much-needed investment by addressing pervasive corruption and reducing the power of oligarchs.—AFP