People walk in front of a young man asking for alms at the metro entrance in Kiev
Washington - AFP
Ukraine's economy remains in a downward spiral and the IMF-EU rescue plan for the country is already outdated and insufficient, an economist said Thursday.
"The economy remains at a standstill" due to the fighting in the east and lack of confidence in the government's ability to settle stresses with Moscow, said economist Lubomir Mitov, a Ukraine and Russia expert at the Institute of International Finance.
"What we are looking at now is a very substantial recession, 8-10 percent or more" of gross domestic product, continuing into 2015, he said.
"The bigger problem is that foreign official financing seems to be insufficient to meet the country's financial needs."
The International Monetary Fund has already acknowledged that the $27 billion support program for Ukraine from the Fund, the European Union, the World Bank and others is not likely enough to stabilize the country's finances, especially as it continues to fight Moscow-backed secessionists in the east and south.
Mitov said that capital controls have slowed the decline but that people are still pulling money out of banks, amid an atmosphere of "uncertainty related to the future of the country itself."
"Going forward it seems that the IMF macroeconomic framework... is unrealistic."
Mitov expressed pessimism that a cease-fire proposed by Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko would be accepted by secessionists and Moscow, leaving the economy still under uncertainty.
He said that the official lenders would likely wait until later this year, after an IMF review slated for September, to revise their aid and reform program.
"Right now there is little appetite with the official creditors to provide additional funding to Ukraine."