President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged that Ukraine did not see eye to eye on all matters with the International Monetary Fund after the IMF ended an extended mission to the country without an agreement on new disbursements of a programme agreed last year.
And he suggested that Ukraine might come up with “a plan B” should the money not be forthcoming.
An IMF statement after the end of the mission last week said discussions had been “productive” and would continue. But the Fund said “more progress” on key issues was needed before more funds could be released.
Plenty of diplomatic language but not a great deal of clarity.
Zelensky said there were “a number of things” behind the failure to reach an agreement – citing differences over legislation on measures to uproot longstanding corruption and set down rules for the functioning of the judicial system. The president has been at odds with both the Constitutional Court and the head of one of a number of anti-corruption bodies.
“We agree on some things, but not on others,” Zelensky told reporters, while saying Ukraine still hoped to secure the credits. “I am the guarantor of the constitution. I defend Ukraine’s independence to the fullest extent of that very word…There is always a plan B or a plan C.“
Commentators were less charitable, saying the IMF was stating the obvious – that Ukraine had failed to tackle corruption, clean up the judicial system and allow independence for the central bank.
“It was quite clear that we weren’t going to get the money now because we, frankly, did not carry out what we were supposed to,” Serhiy Fursa of Dragon Capital, told Espreso TV. “Ukraine didn’t do its homework and for the moment