September 13, 2017 / 6:48 PM / 9 days ago

After IMF meeting, Ukraine PM says committed to reforms

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman addresses lawmakers during a session at the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on Wednesday said the government was committed to implementing reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund, following a meeting with IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton.

Ukraine has so far received $8.4 billion from the IMF, helping it to recover from a two-year recession following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and the outbreak of a Russian-backed insurgency in its industrial east.

But further disbursements from the $17.5 billion program depend in part on a pension reform being implemented and a review of gas prices that could lead to a rise in utility tariffs.

“The government highly values the cooperation with the Fund and its contribution to reforms in Ukraine,” Groysman said in statement following a meeting with Lipton in Kiev.

“We are set on further implementation of our joint program with the IMF, which is extremely important for Ukraine. The reforms we are doing are needed by Ukraine, not the IMF.”

Previously, IMF officials have expressed concern that the country is backsliding on some of its promises, while reformist politicians and activists have questioned the authorities’ commitment to enacting lasting change.

“The global economy is growing now. And Ukraine can and should use this opportunity now,” the government’s press service quoted Lipton as telling Groysman in their meeting.

Reporting by Alessandra Prentice, editing by Larry King

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