Greece Aid Suspension Talk 'Premature': Senior IMF Official
Talk of a suspension of bailout money to struggling euro zone country Greece is "premature", according to a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official.
"The story is premature. We are still having discussions with Greece. Provided that we can reach agreement with them before the end of July , there's financing for the subsequent year," David Lipton, the deputy managing director of the IMF told CNBC at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
(Read More: IMF Moves to Suspend Aid Payments to Greece)
Officials involved in the Greek bailout told the Financial Times on Thursday that the IMF is preparing to withdraw its monetary support from the end of July unless euro zone leaders plug a 3 - 4 billion euro funding gap that has opened up in Greece's 172 billion bailout program.
According to reports, the gap has emerged because euro zone central banks have refused to roll over Greek debt that they hold - refusing to buy new bonds when older bonds mature. Reuters reported Wednesday that foot-dragging could leave Greece some 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) short this year.
"The central banks will make their own decisions. They've made pledges in the way in which they are going to help Greece and we're pretty sure that they are going to carry out those pledges," Lipton said.
(Read More: EU to Decide Who Pays When Banks Fail)
The Financial Times article is a story of European provision of finance and not specially about the Greek bailout, he said, adding that he doubted that the suggestion was purposely leaked to journalists to place pressure on Greece to deliver its reforms.
"We have to count on the fact that markets are generally deep enough, that if some participants have a game and they want to get out and get yields back up, there will be somebody else willing to come in and buy who realizes that prices have gotten out of line," he said.
(Read More: For Hard-Hit Greeks, IMF Culpa Comes Too Late)
Greece is making progress but there are still some issues to be resolved, Lipton said, adding that Greece's measures to privatize certain sectors were one issue but numerous steps still needed to be taken.
"Our job is to go out and fight the crisis of the day. We know crises always throw you curve balls...so we have to kind of do a ruthless re-examination of everything we do. We do it periodically. We're not trying to criticize anyone," he said.
—By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81.