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Azarov: Ukraine can live without IMF funds

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Nov. 14, 2011, 7:53 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
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The Ukrainian government managed without the resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for almost a year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said, the government's press service has reported. He announced this at a meeting of the economic press club with the participation of journalists from leading business publications and a chief scientific officer at the department of public finances at the State Institute of Economics and Forecasting of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Tetiana Bohdan.

"In six weeks there will be exactly one year when we don't get any funds from the IMF," Azarov said.

He noted that the absence of international funds had not led to problems in the country, with the government meeting all of its external commitments conscientiously and all social programs being funded.

"We lived this year without any problems, and we will do so next year," Azarov said, adding that in 2011, thanks to its balanced economic and financial policy, the government managed to stabilize the domestic situation and reduce the ratio of foreign debt to GDP.

Azarov said that although Ukraine received no tranches from the IMF this year, cooperation with the fund was not interrupted and that Ukraine is continuing to cooperate with the IMF under the Stand-By Arrangement.

He said that the so-called pause in borrowings occurred due to IMF demands to raise tariffs on utility rates for households and added that the Cabinet of Ministers presented its own arguments, expecting the revision of gas contracts and the determination of a fair and justified gas price.

"We had an absolutely open dialog with an IMF mission. We thoroughly discussed our positions several times, and we have complete understanding," he said.


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