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Ukraine: IMF To Act Quickly When Reform Package Approved

Washington, 4 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - An official at the International Monetary Fund says the IMF will be "ready to move rapidly" to approve a new three-year loan for Ukraine once the parliament approves the 1997 budget and a package of reform measures, including new tax laws.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the Extended Financing Facility (EFF) for a total of around $2.5 billion is designed to pick up from Ukraine's one-year stand-by loan which ends this month.

The official said the basic reform package underlying the new loan has been agreed between the fund and Kyiv and that final approval by the IMF board of Executive Directors will come soon after the tax reforms and other measures are adopted by Ukraine's parliament.

IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma discussed the package over the weekend. Fischer was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine in Davos, Switzerland, as saying that tax reform is very important for Ukraine and that lower tax rates are an efficient mechanism to increase state revenues.