WASHINGTON: The In­­ter­­­­­­national Monetary Fund pounded the table in Ukraine Wednesday, threatening to cut crucial financial aid be­­cause of the country’s “slow progress” in fighting corruption.

“Without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful,” Christine Lag­arde, the Fund’s managing director, said in a strongly worded statement.

The crisis has been boiling since the shock resignation last Wednesday of the re­­formist economy minister, Aivaras Abromavicius, in protest against alleged in­­fluence-peddling and state graft. Lagarde, who last week said the reasons for his resignation were troubling, went much further Wednesday.

“I am concerned about Ukraine’s slow progress in improving governance and fighting corruption, and reducing the influence of vested interests in policymaking,” she said.


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