The IMF’s decision to distribute $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights this summer is undermining arguments for free market changes in countries like Ukraine,

Timothy Ash argues in an essay. He writes from London: “The hope was the looming debt service hump for Ukraine in Q3, when $3bn in external debt falls due, would concentrate minds in the Zelenskiy administration. But likely with $2.8bn in SDR allocations due in September now, I think there will be zero incentive on the part of the administration to do anything to meet the conditionality in the SBA [Stand-by Arrangement]. This SBA is dead now in my mind,

Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy wrote that the new issue “looks like a success.”

 He added: “It is too naive to expect Ukraine would be able to get more than one IMF tranche this year. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance’s reliance on such financing looks too optimistic, and most likely it will have to continue issuing market bonds this year.”

Talks with the IMF are progressing and September is a realistic date for the tranche,

said Serhiy Marchenko, Finance Minister (LB.ua). “We are now narrowing the range of unresolved issues.” “In January, when there was a mission, there were many issues. Now there are fewer, they should be resolved,” he said.

US and IMF support for Ukraine depend on the Zelenskiy Administration taking concrete steps to reform the court system and protect Western-designed anti-corruption institutions,

George Kent, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told VOA last week. Explicitly tying aid to free market changes, he said: “The expectations of Ukrainians and Americans are clear. Reform efforts need to continue and deepen. The justice sector is absolutely essential.” He added: “The U.S. as a partner is here to be supportive. But to be very clear, any legislation that rolls back the independence of organizations, whether it’s the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, NABU,