Moldova faces delay on IMF loan decision
CHISINAU, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund may delay until
January a decision on whether to resume lending to Moldova, Viktor Dorash, an
adviser to President Vladimir Voronin said on Wednesday.
Dorash said the government and the global lender had managed to agree on
major targets needed to unlock aid under a $142 million loan programme and
denied reports by former government members that the talks with the IMF were
"There are rumours we have huge problems (with the IMF). There are no
problems," Dorash told a news conference.
"Yes, we are behind the schedule on some dates. But talks are under way and if
some issues are
delayed then it means the decision will be postponed until the next board
An IMF mission is due in the Moldovan capital in the near term, Dorash said,
adding he expected the board meeting to take place in January and that there
were no problems in principle.
The delay is a blow for the government which had met one of the IMF's key
terms by approving a lean 2002 budget in November and hoped to get fresh funds
by the end of the year.
The IMF's resident representative office in the capital Chisinau declined to
Dorash said the IMF would review an agreement on debts for Russian natural
Russia has agreed to restructure $800 million of debts owed to it by Moldova for
11 years with a three-year grace period.
Analysts said they believed the IMF was concerned that details of the deal
were unavailable and
it was unclear whether debts for Russian natural gas supplies were being treated
as a state debt or a corporate debt.
The IMF froze its three-year lending programme to the tiny agricultural
country earlier this year
after some deputies in the newly elected Communist parliament proposed scrapping
privatisation plans and introducing protectionist trade tariffs.
President Voronin has said foreign credits are vital for the country, one of
states, to help it fend off economic and political turmoil and avoid a default.
A resumption of IMF lending would be also seen by investors as a vote of
confidence in the
Wednesday, 12 December 2001 14:13:34