No… No… Not Yet!
The meeting of President Putin with Ukrainian President Yanukovich in Moscow this week is one of the most significant events of the year, which one can call a reset of bilateral agreements. Putin and Yanukovich agreed to strengthen mutually-beneficial coöperation. Moreover, these intentions aren’t just political rhetoric; they’re concrete plans. The most important evidence of this is a price-cut for Russian natural gas and substantial Russian investment in the Ukrainian economy.
As part of his annual press conference on Thursday, one day after talks with Yanukovich, Putin stated that Russia’s decision to grant the Ukraine a 15 billion USD (495 billion Roubles. 16 billion CAD. 16.9 billion AUD. 11 billion Euros. 9.2 billion UK Pounds) loan and cut natural gas prices by almost one-third had no connection either with the present disturbances in Kiev or with Ukrainian negotiations on an association agreement with the EU. Putin emphasised that Russia decided to support the Ukraine, first, because it was a sister country, a sister nation, saying, “Today we see that the Ukraine is in a difficult economic and political situation. If we really think that it’s a sister nation and a sister country, we should act as close relatives and support the Ukrainian people in this difficult situation. I assure you that this is the main reason for taking this decision”. To describe further plans for expansion and coöperation, he said, “Certainly, the Ukraine is our strategic partner and ally. Unfortunately, during the last two years, we saw a decrease in turnover, and now it’s time for vigorous efforts to create conditions for moving forward. Recently, our government counterparts did a good job in important areas such as energy, space, aviation, and shipbuilding. We could strengthen our legal base, to build up trade and economic relations”.
President Yanukovich noted, “Of course, there are still some bilateral economic problems; however, Moscow and Kiev made notable progress in many aspects, economic and political. The measures that we’ll take in near future will qualitatively improve the situation. In some sectors, we need to make fundamental decisions, and there are new products that we can produce together. It’s profitable for us”. Ukrainian experts agree that Russia saved the Ukraine from default. Both the IMF and the EU promised help, but Kiev’s economic situation didn’t allow it to wait until these Western promises turned into real money. Meanwhile, Moscow didn’t just give promises to Kiev; it came to the rescue. Mikhail Pogrebinsky, Director of the Kiev Centre of Political Studies, commented on the situation, “This gives us a chance to stop a potential approaching default, as we faced payments next year that the Ukraine couldn’t pay with zero gold and currency reserves. That would’ve forced us to sell off everything. Now, there appears a chance to get off the hook, to return our balance of payments to the positive side, and to get out of the dreadful situation that the Ukrainian economy found itself in”.
Meanwhile, political passions still run hot in the Ukraine. The rallies on the Maidan have gone on for almost a month. People on the square were looking forward to the details of the negotiations in Moscow. However, it soon became clear that no one was dragging the Ukraine forcibly into the Customs Union of the Eurasian Economic Community (TS EvrAsES). Thus, the Ukrainian opposition lost its main trump card, which allowed to it blame Yanukovich of betraying the national interest. Sergei Khestanov, managing director of the Alor Group said, “After the Moscow agreements between Putin and Yanukovich, the protracted political crisis should slow down. “Politics is economics in a concentrated form. As the support measures that the Ukrainian and the Russian governments managed to agree upon considerably ameliorated economic problems, one should expect reduced political turmoil in the Ukraine”.
The recent meeting of the two leaders showed one main fact… Russia won’t leave the Ukraine in a difficult economic situation. In fact, Moscow gave its sister country time to chart out a course to economic and political stability. Moreover, the direction is clear. For example, one the agreements signed in Moscow involves creating a joint venture to build 80 An-124 aircraft, which would bring 13 billion USD (430 billion Roubles. 13.9 billion CAD. 14.6 billion AUD. 9.5 billion Euros. 8 billion UK Pounds) in revenue. Besides which, the cut-rate price for Russian natural gas would open opportunities for Ukrainian industry, utilities and energy would help restore economic growth, which allow using the obtained resources for upgrading.
21 December 2013
Voice of Russia World Service
The Ukraine was the “jewel in the crown” of the USSR. Twenty years of nationalist mismanagement has turned the Ukraine into an economic basket case. Western thieves bought up large sectors of the economy at fire-sale prices, taking the earnings out of the country, aided in this by treacherous Galician émigré Quislings. As a Cabineteer told me:
In Kiev, in the 90s, extremely-Russophobic Greek Catholics ran the American Embassy… they wouldn’t allow people to speak Russian, which the locals resented, as most didn’t speak “Ukrainian”. After all, the phoney “I hate Russia” rubbish began in Lvov, NOT Kiev. Thank you, Roman Catholics! By the way, at that time, all the Ukie nationalists hated Filaret Denisenko as he spoke the Ukrainian dialect poorly. Now, he’s their hero!
It’s all come home to roost. My take is that Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk Oblasts are likely to split off, along with portions of (if not all) of Ternopol Oblast. In such a case, Podkarpatska Rus will likely secede from the Westerners and join Slovakia in federal union, as it was a part of Czechoslovakia in the Interwar Period. The rest of the Ukraine will join the EvrAsES and say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” The Uniate hardheads aren’t worth shedding the blood of a single Orthodox soldier or cop. Let them go… they’ll find that “independence” is often an empty thing… grand slogans don’t fill one’s stomach nor do great words heat a house in the grip of winter. Let them have a bellyful of “independence”. Sometimes, you get EXACTLY what you wished for… and found it not to your liking. I won’t say, “I told you so…”