Strauss-Kahn Is ‘Optimistic’ Ukraine, IMF Will Resume Program

LONDON, England -- International Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he’s “optimistic” Ukraine’s loan program will be unfrozen and talks will be aimed at reevaluating the country’s economic outlook.

International Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

“I’m rather optimistic that we will resume the relationship with Ukraine,” which “during the election period was put between parentheses,” Strauss-Kahn said in an interview today.

“The situation has changed over the last month, we have to reassess the situation and see what we can do together.”

An IMF team is in Ukraine having talks with authorities after President Viktor Yanukovych took office and managed to get a prime minister allied to him elected.

Mykola Azarov’s government is seeking a new loan program with the International Monetary Fund to help “reform the economy,” he said last week.

“We’re expecting the Ukraine side to move,” said Strauss- Kahn. “It’s their call when they have solved the domestic problem. The government will decide when they want to re-discuss the program.” What the mission reports back will remain “inside the IMF.”

Ukraine has received $10.6 billion from IMF since the former Soviet state secured a stand-by loan arrangement with the Washington based lender in late 2008 to stay afloat amid the global financial crisis.

Part of the loan was used to cover the state budget deficit and to back up payments for natural gas imports from Russia.

Source: BusinessWeek