Prime Minister Valery Pustovoytenko led a delegation to Washington last week for talks with the International Monetary Fund. The Fund suspended disbursements under a three-year, US$2.2 billion program shortly after the program began in September of last year.

The country’s fiscal situation is dire. Payments on foreign loans falling due this year are $17 billion, almost as much as Russia’s in an economy one-fourth the size. The government’s cash flow is so weak that in the first part of January, debt service exceeded total revenues.