KIEV, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Continued cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will help Ukraine avoid a default, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said Monday.
In an interview with the government-run Ukrinform news agency, Groysman said that the cooperation with the IMF is vital for Ukraine to serve its foreign debt, of which Kiev repays about 5 billion U.S. dollars annually.
Besides, the new partnership program with the IMF would be a positive signal to Ukraine's other foreign lenders, such as the European Union and the World Bank, as well as for investors, Groysman said.
Ukraine hopes to receive the first tranche from a new IMF aid program by the end of this year. On Oct. 19, the IMF said it has reached a staff-level agreement with the Ukrainian authorities on economic policies for the 14-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).
The SBA will be approved after the Ukrainian parliament adopts the IMF-compliant state budget for 2019 and raises natural gas and heating tariffs for households in line with the global lender's requirements, according to local experts.
Since 2015, Ukraine has received about 8.7 billion dollars from the IMF, which helped prevent the collapse of the Ukrainian economy. The disbursement of the aid was suspended in April 2017.