Ukraine expects next IMF tranche after meeting conditions -president

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gives statements ahead of talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany July 12, 2021. Stefanie Loos/ Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

KYIV (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that Ukraine expects to receive a second payment from its $5 billion International Monetary Fund programme after fulfilling all its agreed commitments.

The IMF approved the standby loan facility in June 2020 and disbursed a first tranche of $2.1 billion to help the Ukrainian economy, which was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Further loans have been frozen due to the slow pace of reforms in Ukraine and concerns over central bank independence.

Speaking to reporters, the president said Ukraine had fulfilled its reform commitments, passing legislation to open the land market, overhaul the judicial system and strengthen the central bank.

"We have done everything as I promised ... and everything that we need for Ukraine," said Zelenskiy.

"I think we are ready to receive a tranche," he added, without specifying what the size it might be.

Ukrainian officials previously said Kyiv hoped to receive at least $700 million.

Zelenskiy batted away speculation about whether he would replace National Bank of Ukraine Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko after several senior officials quit the central bank last month and criticised Shevchenko's leadership.

"There are many different rumours about the situation in the National Bank," said Zelenskiy. "For me, as president, this is an independent institution, I would not want to interfere."

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Matthias Williams)

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