President Alberto Fernández is expected to reveal the main outlines of Argentina’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund during next Tuesday’s speech to Congress opening new sessions, although it is still uncertain when the draft agreement will reach lawmakers.
Sources close to the government told the Noticias Argentinas news agency on Friday that the international crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “will not affect negotiations" with the multilateral lender, which they said were “practically concluded.”
The source, who asked not to be identified, acknowledged that Argentina and the IMF had disagreements over the updating of utility tariffs, an issue which is “delaying the final agreement.”
The conflict in Ukraine could complicate that issue further, with oil and gas prices on the rise in recent days following the outbreak of war in eastern Europe.
Reports in recent weeks said that the government wanted to submit the IMF agreement to Congress for approval before the start of March and the opening of ordinary sessions. At press time, that was considered unlikely, though the bill is still expected to reach Congress by the middle of next week.
Lower House Speaker Sergio Massa has reportedly offered to open the Chamber of Deputies on Monday, a national holiday, should an agreement with the Fund be reached over the weekend.
Any deal will still need approval from the IMF’s Executive Board, though that will not prevent the president from providing details of the agreement.