President Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who is on a working visit to Ukraine. Following the meeting, Christine Lagarde noted that Ukraine had surprised the world with its achievements in reforms.
The Head of State expressed gratitude to the IMF Managing Director for a frank and meaningful conversation in support of Ukraine and its course of reforms. "It is extremely important for us. My priorities in the course of reforms are ruthless struggle against corruption, creation of conditions for the restoration of stability and confidence in the financial and banking sector, provision of conditions for economic growth and creation of an effective investment climate. And it is being made to raise social standards," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President has emphasized the importance of the IMF's support for Ukraine in these difficult times. According to the Head of State, the decision of the IMF Executive Board of July 31, 2015 regarding the allocation of USD 1.7 billion for Ukraine together with 5 billion received this year have formed a substantial financial foundation for the implementation of reforms in Ukraine. Today, the foreign reserves of Ukraine equal USD 12.7 billion and we have eventually reached significant stabilization of the banking sector and exchange rate policy.
The President expressed gratefulness for the IMF's support in the achievement of the agreement on debt restructuring with holders of Ukraine’s sovereign debt securities. The President is hopeful that it would also facilitate the achievement of agreements with other creditors. The Head of State has also noted mutual understanding regarding the intention of the Ukrainian authorities to increase social guarantees not on December 1, as provided by the program, but on September 1.
In September, the IMF mission will come to Kyiv to continue its work until October 2. The President is hopeful that the results of the missions' work will be successful. "I hope that the active efforts on the reforms of the Ukrainian government will pave the way for the IMF's positive decision on granting the next tranche for Ukraine," Petro Poroshenko said.
In her turn, the IMF Managing Director has thanked the President for the invitation to visit Ukraine. "I am very pleased to meet you. I have to tell you, Mr. President, I highly support the progress that has been made in recent months. Ukraine has surprised the world! Surprised by what it managed to achieve in such a short period of time: This is not just something, this is impressive!" Christine Lagarde noted.
She pointed out that she has given such an assessment as IMF Managing Director because previous experience of supporting the countries hasn't always provided grounds for satisfaction from the achieved results. "In a difficult period, in difficult circumstances you have achieved macroeconomic stability that persists, and your economy shows signs of recovery, which largely took place due to your leadership and talents of your team," Christine Lagarde said,
The IMF Managing Director underlined considerable progress in financial stabilization, including the exchange rates and the recovery of the banking sector. "This means that the economy is gradually becoming stronger. It tells the investors to be sure that there is a team that introduces reforms, that is going to continue the transformation of the economy - economy that is open and favorable to foreign investors, that is waiting for the growth - and that the given team aims to ensure a better life and prosperity for the Ukrainian people," Christine Lagarde stressed.
Among the successful reforms, the IMF Managing Director noted that the energy prices were brought to the cost-recovery level with simultaneous reliable protection of population.
At the same time, she commended the restoration of social contract between the government and people in Ukraine, which is crucial. "This is not the end of the road. This is the beginning of the trip, because the reforms are the process and the President assured that the reforms will be continued," Christine Lagarde emphasized.
Christine Lagarde also commended the establishment of the independent anti-corruption institution - the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. She noted that the struggle against corruption must be continued and the judicial reform must be intensified. "As former lawyer, I know how hard it is to change the rules," she said.
"The IMF supports Ukraine!" Christine Lagarde said.
Later, Mrs. Lagarde will have a conversation with the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko and Head of the National Bank Valeriya Gontareva. She expressed her delight at the fact that the Minister of Finance and the Head of the National Bank are women. "This is a unique situation in the world. And I am sure that it is absolutely deserved," she said.