BRUSSELS - The European Union is ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine for the implementation of the Association Agreement, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule has said.
"We stand ready to help and support Ukraine on its modernization journey, including through topping up IMF loans with macro-financial assistance; by stepping up the European Union's financial assistance programs to help Ukraine implement the Agreement, when it is signed, and helping to bring on board other international partners," he said at a plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday during the discussion of the Ukrainian issue.
Leader of the Batkivschyna faction Arseniy Yatseniuk says that one of the opposition's major tasks is to persuade Western partners to issue an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to Ukraine.
"We should immediately resume talks with our partner – the IMF. Our task is to keep the country afloat, preserve our sovereignty,… not to let Russia buy Ukraine for a song. [We will also have to] sign [the EU Association] Agreement," he said, standing on the stage on Kyiv's Independence Square. Ukraine is now facing the political and economic crisis, he said.
US Vice President Biden pushes for Ukraine/IMF agreement
Ukraine will agree on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan provided the gas price for the population is not increased and a rise in wages and pensions is not frozen, President Viktor Yanukovych said at the round table with his predecessors that was broadcast live on the First National TV Channel.
"United States Vice President Biden told me yesterday the issue on the IMF loan had been almost settled. I argued that if the requirements remained the same (freezing wage and pensions increase and rising the gas price for the population), we do not need such a loan," Yanukovych noted.
At the same time, the Ukrainian President stressed Ukraine would resume negotiations with the IMF. "We rely and have always relied on our own capacities," Yanukovych added. He assured the government knew how to maintain the dynamics of wage and pension increase.
As Ukrainian News reported, Minister of Revenues and Duties Oleksandr Klymenko had said about coherence in the talks between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund.
Managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde said that the fund is ready to support Ukraine if the country conducts the necessary reforms, in particular those related to the forex rate of the national currency and energy prices.
"In recent years, we've been in a constant dialogue with Ukraine more or less actively, and we'd like to help Ukraine if Ukraine needs us and if Ukraine wants to help its economy to move forward," she said at a meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee.
In this regard, she says that Ukraine needs to conduct certain reforms related to energy prices and the monetary system. The Ukrainian government and Ukrainian people must take up reforms to resume a stable situation, she said.
According to her, these reforms are now in the focus of the debate. "We're ready to start if the Ukrainian authorities decide that this is the path they choose. We want, as I said, to help them," she said.
Lagarde also said that "complex negotiations are now going on."
Source: Interfax Ukraine, Ukrainian News Agency