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Ukraine: IMF Team Begins Loan Talks

Washington, 22 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - A delegation of officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due in Kyiv to begin discussions on a one-year stand-by loan. The delegation was to arrive yesterday.

The loan will be handled on a priority basis and is, according to sources at IMF headquarters in Washington, expected to be finalized and approved by the end of August.

The one-year loan, with the size yet to be determined, is in lieu of the planned three-year loan program for up to $3 billion which was put on hold in early July. An IMF review team said then that Ukraine had not yet put enough of the reforms in place to qualify for the loan.

The review team said it was pleased with the progress made in policy this year, including lower inflation and a stable exchange rate. While more structural changes are needed for the major loan, the IMF said it would expedite a standard one-year program to help Ukraine meet its financing needs.