IMF Approves $900 Million for Ukraine as Volodymyr Zelenskyy Makes Plea for US Aid Ahead of Joe Biden Meeting

By Jace Dela Cruz

Dec 12, 2023 04:13 AM EST

Amid the economic challenges intensified by its conflict with Russia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $900 million disbursement for Ukraine as part of an ongoing long-term loan. 

President Biden Welcomes Ukrainian President Zelensky To The White House
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House September 21, 2023 in Washington, DC.

IMF Arrangement for Ukraine

The IMF executive board's approval came following the conclusion of the 2023 Article IV consultation and the Second Review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement for Ukraine on Monday. 

The approval allows Ukrainian authorities to access the fund promptly, offering significant financial support amid heightened war-related uncertainty. Ukraine's 48-month EFF arrangement, with access to $15.6 billion, was initially approved on March 31, and it forms part of a broader $122 billion support package for Ukraine. 

Following the approval of around $900 million for Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the IMF for "supporting" their country, according to VOA.

"Thank you for supporting Ukraine and celebrating the successes of our country and our people," Zelenskyy said on his Telegram account after Monday's meeting with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva in Washington as part of his working visit to the United States.

Zelenskyy made a quick visit to Washington to plead with Congress for additional US military aid. In his speech at the National Defense University in Washington earlier Monday, Zelenskyy told the US military officers that if Russia won, Russian President Vladimir Putin would not stop there.

"His (Putin's) weapon against you right now is propaganda and disinformation. But if he sees a chance, he'll go further... Now, he's shifting Russia's economy and society (onto) what he calls 'war tracks'," Zelenskyy said.

So far, he noted that Ukrainian "warriors" have repossessed 50 percent of the territory they lost to Russia, and right now, their "soldiers are holding positions on the front and preparing for further actions, and we haven't let Russia score any victory this year."

The US has already provided $111 billion to Ukraine for its fight against Russia's invasion. Zelenskyy is set to visit the White House on Tuesday to meet President Joe Biden.

READ NEXT: EU Military Spending Hits Record High of €240 Billion Following Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

Resilient Economy of Ukraine

The IMF's Article IV discussions focused on foundational policies for strong, balanced, and green growth in the post-war era to support Ukraine's EU accession. Key areas include appropriate macroeconomic policy frameworks, restoring pre-war monetary policies, governance reforms, steps in revitalizing the banking sector, and climate change mitigation.  

Despite the economic challenges brought by the Russia-Ukraine war, Ukraine's economy has been resilient and exceeded expectations, leading to an upward revision of the 2023 GDP growth forecast to 4.5%, according to the IMF. Expectations suggest a growth softening in 2024 to 3-4% as the conflict continues.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to bring enormous social and economic costs to Ukraine. However, Ukraine's economy has been resilient as a recovery takes hold, and macroeconomic and financial stability has been preserved, thanks to skillful policymaking by the Ukrainian authorities as well as substantial external support," Georgieva said in a statement.

"Looking ahead, whereas the recovery is expected to continue, the outlook has significant risks stemming mainly from the exceptionally high war-related uncertainty. It is also critical that external financing on concessional terms continue on a timely and predictable basis and sustain the reform momentum," she added.

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin: Russia Becoming 'New Global Growth Center' Despite Western Isolation

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