... in reality the IMF has only doled out about $11 billion in the last two years (see chart), ie, about a quarter of what you might assume. On top of this, it is important to remember that the IMF lends money to a bailed-out country, rather than giving it. So Ukraine has to pay it back at some point. Add up all of Ukraine's repayments to the Fund (including from past bail-outs) and net lending to Ukraine since the Euromaidan protests from the IMF has been about $6 billion. At no point since the crisis began has Ukraine's balance of payments looked strong.

The more immediate problem facing Ukraine is that it has not received a disbursement from the IMF since early August. This may not surprise some. In recent months Ukraine's reform effort (stamping out corruption, reforming public procurement, tightening up the gas sector and so on) has been looking very shaky. The IMF has repeatedly put off lending more cash.

The last time Ukraine went such a long time without receiving money (in early 2015) its financial crisis reached new heights. Investors started to worry that the central bank would run out of foreign-exchange reserves, making it hard to prop up the hryvnia, Ukraine's currency. And without the IMF at the table, reform momentum slowed.

In recent weeks, the hryvnia has lost about 20% of its value. Bond yields are surging. In other words, those same sentiments that gripped investors in early 2015 are returning. Add to that uncertainties about economic growth and a forthcoming court case over the notorious $3 billion bond that Russia lent to Ukraine in 2013 ... and people are getting worried that the country is going to need much more financing than the IMF is willing to provide. Unfortunately, Ukraine looks ever closer to another financial meltdown.

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