Encouraging, but not enough to get IMF sign off. It will need two final readings in the autumn. Kind of the minimum that Rada deputies could do to allow them to jet off on holiday as the Rada goes into recess this week. Notable that PM Groysman said he would resign if he did not get pension reform signed off, so let's see how President Poroshenko wants to play this in an increasingly strained relationship. This could still be a political fight to come in the autumn in Kyiv.
Still no news on the status of gas price hikes which were to have been announced on July 1 as per the third review of the IMF EFF. No decision on gas price hikes. A government decision to stall these will irritate the IMF as this is going back on prior actions which had been agreed in the third review.
Also I don't see enough meaningful progress on the anti corruption agenda - which was also the message from the EU this week. Looks like a reform lull until the autumn. The focus now will be on the new Trump administration initiative with the new Volker - Surkov negotiation channel for an easing of tensions in the East.
Guess Moscow was pleased with the first Trump - Putin meeting in Germany but will now be trying to figure out the lay of the land after the latest Donnygate revelations and how that plays to all things to do with the US - Russia relationship. The question in Moscow will be is this the time to offer concessions, play tough, or just let the dust settle in DC. Moscow, like the rest of us finds DC difficult to read these days, with the administration seeming to go from one media crisis to the next, competing interests and a lack of real focus at the top of the administration.
Timothy Ash is senior sovereign strategist for Blue Bay Asset Management in London.
Slider photo: MP Mustafa Naem speaks on megaphone at Thursday’s session of the Rada (UNIAN)
Posted Junly 14, 2017
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Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at email@example.com