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Ukraine: IMF Team Wrapping Up Review

By Bob Lyle

Washington, 31 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - A team of IMF experts is wrapping up its monthly review of Ukraine's economic performance in Kyiv and will report to senior officials in Washington on Monday.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Valery Litvitsky says he hopes the International Monetary Fund will be willing to release two drawings from Ukraine's stand-by loan of around $542 million within the next 30 days.

The loan was approved by the IMF in late August, but a technical problem delayed release of the first tranche of around $50 million until mid-September.

Ukrainian officials have asked the fund to "catch up" by approving both the second and third tranches together. IMF officials in Washington, however, say their decision will depend on the review.

Litvitsky told Interfax that Kyiv has kept the budget deficit, hard currency reserves and other indicators within the IMF-agreed targets, but that money supply has slightly exceeded limits.