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Ukraine: IMF Confirms Talk with Kuchma

Washington, 18 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - An International Monetary Fund spokesman has confirmed that IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus talked by telephone Wednesday with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

The spokesman declined to provide any details of the discussion.

The Interfax-Ukraine news agency quotes the Ukrainian presidential press service as saying that Kuchma briefed Camdessus on Kyiv's measures to reform its taxation and budget systems, unblock investments and unfold systemic transformation of its economy.

It says Kuchma told Camdessus that both domestic and international financial assistance will be needed at this stage of the country's reform.

Presidential advisor Valery Litvitsky told Interfax-Ukraine earlier that external financing needs for the next year could exceed $3 billion. He said that the borrowing would allow Ukraine to release money to service its internal obligations on state securities as well as to pay $1.3 billion owed to Russia.

Ukraine is currently in a stand-by program with the IMF, having drawn more than three quarters of the around $837 million loan. The fund and Ukrainian officials are currently discussing a three-year extended loan of several thousand million dollars that could be put together when the stand-by expires in February.