Policy brief

The harsh reality of Ukraine’s fiscal arithmetic

In this Policy Contribution Marek Dabrowski argues that Ukraine must accelerate and better manage its reform process so as to overcome fundamenta

Publishing date
11 June 2015
Authors
Marek Dabrowski

• Ukraine is struggling with both external aggression and the dramatically poor shape of its economy. The pace of political and institutional change has so far been too slow to prevent the deepening of the fiscal and balance-of-payments crises, while business confidence continues to be undermined.

• Unfortunately, the 2015 International Monetary Fund Extended Fund Facility programme repeats many weaknesses of the 2014 IMF Stand-by Arrangement: slow pace of fiscal adjustment especially in the two key areas of energy prices and pension entitlements, lack of a comprehensive structural and institutional reform vision, and insufficient external financing to close the expected balance-of-payments gap and allow Ukraine to return to debt sustainability in the long term.

• The reform process in Ukraine must be accelerated and better managed. A frontloaded fiscal adjustment is necessary to stabilise public finances and the balance-of-payments, and to bring inflation down. The international community, especially the European Union, should offer sufficient financial aid backed by strong conditionality, technical assistance and support to Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity.

About the authors

  • Marek Dabrowski

    Dr. Marek Dabrowski is a Non-Resident Scholar at Bruegel, Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, co-founder and Fellow at CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw and Member of the Scientific Council of the E.T. Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in Moscow.

    He was Chairman of the CASE Supervisory Council and its President of Management Board (1991-2011), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CASE Ukraine in Kyiv (1999-2009 and 2013-2015), and Fellow under the 2014-2015 Fellowship Initiative of the European Commission – Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. He is a former First Deputy Minister of Finance of Poland (1989-1990), Member of Parliament (1991-1993) and Member of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank of Poland (1998-2004).

    Since the end of 1980s he has been involved in policy advising and policy research in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen, and in a number of international research projects related to monetary and fiscal policies, growth and poverty, currency crises, international financial architecture, perspectives of European integration, European Neighborhood Policy, trade policy, and political economy of transition.

    He has also worked as a consultant in a number of EU, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, OECD and USAID projects. Marek is the author of several academic and policy papers, and editor of several book publications.

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