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IMF may deny Ukraine loan

The government is still unable to meet one of the donor’s key demands – to begin fighting top-level corruption
12 March, 12:06

The International Monetary Fund is doing a quarterly review of the way Ukraine is meeting mandatory demands in the memorandum, by the results of which it will be decided whether or not the next tranche will be made available. According to the IMF’s official report and the Ukraine-IMF memorandum, one of the conditions for Ukraine reforms to be amply funded has been, since September 2014, the establishment of an Anticorruption Bureau. Moreover, Ukraine has pledged to guarantee operational and institutional independence of this organization from any external influences. The memorandum points out that this independence should be ensured through certain procedures for appointing the director, which include clearly-set dates of his dismissal, the right to personally form a team, etc.

“The independence and self-sufficiency of a new law-enforcement body which is supposed to fight top-level corrupt officials still remains a key IMF demand,” says Vitalii Shabunin, chairman of the Corruption Control Center.

According to Shabunin, Bill No. 2339 moved on March 5 by Petro Poroshenko Bloc and Popular Front MPs Oleksandr Hranovsky, Oleksii Mushak, and Mykhailo Khmil, which lifts age qualifications for Anticorruption Bureau director candidates, is aimed at slowing down the process of establishing this body. “We have already seen topmost officials using MPs to try to undermine the bureau’s independence. As the competition is drawing to a close, parliament suddenly receives a draft law which in fact prolongs this process and allows having more contenders for the office of director. Changing the rules of the game in the final is absolutely unacceptable for our international partners, and the only cause of this is that the government is trying to get at any cost a bureau director who suits them. This scenario is unlikely to be funded with the money of EU or US taxpayers,” Shabunin concludes.

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