• 24/02/2024 18:22

“We can’t wait for March”: Shmygal turned to financial donors due to budget problems – Bloomberg

The Ukrainian Prime Minister said that funds are needed as early as next month, that is, in January 2024, for payments to state employees and pensioners.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal has requested an emergency meeting with international donors due to “exceptionally high uncertainty” over the 2024 budget.

Bloomberg reports this with reference to a letter from the head of the Ukrainian government to the Interdepartmental Donor Coordination Platform (MDCP, which unites the EU and G7 countries).

The Ukrainian Prime Minister said that funds are needed as early as next month, that is, in January 2024, to meet the basic budgetary needs of Ukraine. We are talking about supporting the work of the government, as well as payments to teachers, civil servants and pensioners.

“It is very important for macroeconomic stability that we receive sufficient, rapid and predictable external financing starting in January 2024. We cannot wait for March,” he emphasized.

Denis Shmyhal called on the allies to focus specifically on the urgent budgetary needs of Ukraine. “It is hardly possible to have any discussions about [long-term] recovery and reconstruction projects when we are struggling to meet survival priorities for 2024,” he said.

Ukraine's ability to independently generate funds, including increasing tax revenues, devaluing the hryvnia or turning to the central bank, is limited and is considered risky by the Ministry of Finance. But Shmygal said they would be used as a temporary measure until international funds arrive.

As is known, more than $110 billion in financial assistance promised to Ukraine is delayed due to political disagreements in the United States and the European Union.

This month, American lawmakers abandoned attempts to agree on the allocation of a $61.4 billion package to Kyiv, which was proposed by the administration of President Joe Biden. Representatives of the Republican Party are obstructing the provision of assistance, demanding increased funding for protecting borders from illegal migrants. Senators are expected to return to discussing the issue after the Christmas and New Year holidays on January 8.

A €50 billion ($55.6 billion) EU package for Ukraine was blocked by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in December, prompting the debate to be postponed until early next year.

Let us recall that in early December, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said that the budget could face a deficit as early as January-February. He estimated external financing needs for 2024 at $37.3 billion.

tsn.ua

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