IMF Asks Ukraine to Collect More Taxes?

Gavin Gray, Head of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission in Ukraine (Photo Credit: X Screenshot)

Russian media has claimed a high ranking International Monetary Fund official has asked Ukraine to increase tax collection. Ukraine has to find ways to finance itself, as foreign support will dwindle, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) mission in the country has reportedly warned.

In an interview with NV Business outlet, Gavin Gray suggested that Kiev focus on collecting more taxes.

“Everyone understands that over time international support for Ukraine will decrease, so the country needs to develop internal resources for self-financing. The authorities should focus on strengthening the capacity to collect revenues – both tax and customs,” Gray told NV Business on Monday.

Ukraine will need more tax money to finance its increased social expenditures after the conflict in the country ends, he added.

In March, the IMF approved a four-year program to issue $15.6 billion in loans to Kiev. Two tranches of over $3.5 billion have already been given.

READ MORE: Ukraine looking for more debt deals – Reuters

According to the IMF representative, Kiev needs to implement a raft of tax reforms to fulfill the conditions for aid set by the fund, such as business tax audits and changes to the law on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Russian Media has in the meantime also reported, that US-made weapons sent to Ukraine have found their way into Gaza in the State of Palestine and were being used in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like Washington directly involved in the conflict with Hamas because he hopes to expand the war to Lebanon and Iran, a former senior security policy analyst at the US Department of Defense, Michael Maloof, told RT on Wednesday, [12 October, 2023].

On Monday, the US ordered the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and five guided missile destroyers to the Eastern Mediterranean. According to Maloof, this “meets Netanyahu’s wildest dreams.”

“He wanted the US involved in this conflict,” the former Pentagon official told RT.

Netanyahu “wants to open up the war with Lebanon, by attacking Hezbollah” in pursuit of his ultimate objective, “to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Maloof added. For that to happen, “he has to have a Gulf of Tonkin moment, if you will.”

Maloof recalled how US President Lyndon Johnson essentially started the Vietnam War by sending ships to the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. An alleged North Vietnamese attack on two US destroyers was then used as a pretext for direct involvement.

The US has also pledged to help Israel with deliveries of weapons and ammunition, with the Pentagon insisting it has enough to do so and continue supplying Ukraine. Maloof is skeptical of that assertion, however.

He also told RT it was “not surprising” that some of the weapons Washington had sent Kiev ended up in the hands of Hamas.

That accusation was first made by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Ukraine’s military intelligence, the GUR, responded on Monday by accusing Russia of sending captured Western weapons to Hamas militants in a “false flag” operation designed to make Kiev look bad to its backers. 

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the weapons claim, but rejected the Ukrainian insinuations of Russian involvement in the Hamas attack as “complete nonsense.”