This will help keep the nation financially afloat amid fiscal pressures that include paying back more than $10 billion in foreign loans coming due this year including interest. Most of that is owed to the IMF. 

The questionable justification by the nation’s leaders is that it would be politically suicidal to do what the IMF is asking – mainly to let the overvalued hryvnia loose, reign in a bloated budget whose deficit is beyond 4 percent of gross domestic product, shore up its murky banking system and stop gas and heating subsidies to households. 

In the long-run – a concept whose meaning is beyond Ukraine’s leaders – this kind of fiscal discipline would help the nation to better weather external shocks, give it financial flexibility and position it for additional structural streamlining. 

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