Kiev (AFP)

Ukraine needs a new aid package of at least $ 5 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has been supporting the country since the 2014 political and economic crisis, the Ukrainian central bank said on Thursday.

"A new program is needed for Ukraine," Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Dmytro Sologub told Central European Financial Observer in an interview, relayed by the press service of the institution .

According to Sologub, this plan could last between two and a half to four years, and range from $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion.

According to forecasts by the central bank, a first $ 2 billion of this new program could be released by the end of the year, and similar annual amounts could follow in 2020 and 2021.

"A new program would be an important signal for other donors, there is the possibility of obtaining new funds from the European Union and the World Bank, and we have a better chance (of getting them) if we have already a program with the IMF, "says Sologub.

On the brink of financial meltdown, Ukraine benefited in 2014 from a $ 40 billion Western aid package, including $ 17.5 billion from the IMF. But the credits were released only partially and drip because of the difficulty to adopt some measures of rigor or anticorruption required in return.

The country has avoided a default on its debt through a restructuring of its debt with private investors but he still has billions of dollars of public debt to repay in the coming months.

In December 2018, the IMF approved a new financial assistance program of $ 3.9 billion, replacing the previous one, with an immediate release of $ 1.4 billion.

The following payments were delayed by the presidential election, won in April by former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky who was critical of the austerity measures affecting the population, one of the poorest in Europe.

At the end of June, Finance Minister Oksana Markarova had already declared "very active discussions" with the IMF on a new loan, according to Bloomberg.

© 2019 AFP