WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that the reduced $1 billion loan disbursement to Ukraine represents a "re-phasing" of the country's bailout program to align it with required policy changes.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular briefing that it was "not unusual" to see such a reduction after policy reviews. The disbursement, which was delayed for months as economic and anti-corruption reforms stalled, had been initially planned at $1.7 billion.

"We have these reviews precisely to calibrate the policy recommendations and to make sure that the financing is aligned with the balance of payments needs and with the policy implementation. That's what has happened in this case. It's really a re-phasing, is how I would characterize it, of the actual dollar amounts."

Rice declined to comment on a statement from Ukraine's central bank chief that the next tranche would be about $1.3 billion.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)