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IMF to join meeting between Ukraine, creditors next week

 IMF to join meeting between Ukraine, creditors next week/AFP

IMF to join meeting between Ukraine, creditors next week/AFP

WASHINGTON, June 23- The IMF said Monday that it would take part in a meeting between Ukraine and its private bondholders next week, amid rising pressure on creditors to reduce the debt.

The International Monetary Fund said the meeting between a committee of bondholders and Ukraine representatives will take place in the week of June 29-July 3 in Washington, where the Fund is headquartered.

The Fund did not say what its role in the talks would be.

But the Ad Hoc Committee of Ukraine’s Bondholders said earlier Monday that they wanted to see the IMF’s newest unpublished forecasts for the Ukraine economy in order to respond to Kiev’s most recent offer.

“The proposal is based on IMF assumptions about the Ukraine economy which have not yet been placed in the public domain and which are not scheduled to be made public until mid July,” the creditors said in a statement.

“In order to properly consider the proposal, the committee and its advisers urge Ukraine and the IMF to publish those assumptions as soon as possible.”

The IMF structured its $17.5 billion bailout loan program in March on the basis that the country also receives $15.3 billion in relief over four years from a bond restructuring.

The Fund targeted for the restructuring to be agreed this month.

Investment house Franklin Templeton and three other US financial titans own about two-thirds of the debt involved in the talks, and have balked at sharply reducing its value.

In the past two weeks the IMF has raised pressure on them to reach a deal, with Managing Director Christine Lagarde saying that the IMF can keep supporting the country even if it defaults on payments to private bondholders.

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She also said that Ukraine cannot use its central bank reserves to pay creditors, rebuffing a suggestion by the bondholders that it do so.

“Ultimately, Ukraine’s debt repayment capacity is limited by its fiscal capacity,” Lagarde said on June 12.

“Rapid completion of the debt operation with high participation is vital for the success of the program, since Ukraine lacks the resources under the program to fully service its debts on the original terms.”

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