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KYIV, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine hopes to start negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on a full-fledged programme during the second quarter of 2023, the Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko as saying on Thursday.

The IMF approved a four-month monitoring programme for Ukraine in December that is aimed at maintaining economic stability following Russia’s invasion, and at helping promote donor financing.

“We hope that the successful implementation of the monitoring program with the IMF will allow us to receive a full-fledged financing program from the IMF, and we will negotiate this, beginning the second quarter of this year already,” Marchenko was quoted as telling a meeting in Kyiv of the Ukrainian government and the European Commission.

Ukrainian government officials have said the country will need $38 billion this year to cover the budget deficit and another $17 billion for urgent energy repairs and reconstruction of critical infrastructure. (Additional reporting by Olena Harmash, Writing by Dan Peleschuk, Editing by Timotyhy Heritage)