March 23, 2017 / 2:59 PM / 5 months ago

IMF spokesman not aware of new Ukraine loan conditions after blockade

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund spokesman said on Thursday that he is not aware of any effort by the Fund to impose new loan conditions on Ukraine after delaying a loan disbursement to assess the impact of a blockade that Kiev has imposed on separatist-held territory.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular news briefing that the IMF board hoped to set a new date soon to consider the next payment in Ukraine's $17.5 billion bailout program.

Ukraine's finance ministry and central bank said on Sunday that the payment was delayed while Ukraine and the IMF assess the fallout from President Petro Poroshenko's decision to suspend all cargo traffic in and out of rebel-held territory.

The central bank said on Tuesday the blockade would shave nearly a full percentage point off of Ukraine's economic growth this year.

"I am not aware of us seeking new conditions," Rice said on Thursday. "As I've said, there have been developments in Ukraine, we're discussing those developments with the authorities in a constructive way and we expect to be able to announce a new date for the board meeting soon." (Reporting by David Lawder)

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