Skip to comments.Putinís expensive victory
Posted on 12/20/2013 7:45:43 AM PST by 1rudeboy
Under its current government, Ukraine may be a prize not worth winning
ANOTHER victory for Vladimir Putin, another defeat for the West. That is how the outcome of the battle for Ukraine, the country between Russia and the European Union, is being portrayed in Moscow and in many Western capitals.
On December 17th, after a meeting between Mr Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraines president, Russia agreed to lend Ukraine $15 billion and to slash the gas price from $400 to $268 per thousand cubic metres, as a reward for Mr Yanukovychs ditching of an association agreement with the EU. Unsurprisingly, the mix of money and political cover for theft and violence proved more enticing to Mr Yanukovych than the EU offer of the rule of law, free trade, competition and reform.
Yet look closer, and Mr Putins victory and Europes loss seem less obvious. Probably Mr Yanukovych never intended to sign an agreement with the EUcertainly not without being paid for it. By keeping up the pretence, he was able to bargain with Mr Putin, who has now agreed to provide money without Mr Yanukovych having signed a deal to join his Eurasian customs union.
And neither Mr Yanukovych nor Mr Putin nor EU leaders factored in the response of Ukrainians, who have been pouring into the streets for the past four weeks. Angered by Mr Yanukovych trading the countrys future for his own benefit, they were bolstered when he used violence against students. What started as a modest-sized street action demanding a deal with the EU has turned into a national awakening and vocal rejection of a kleptocratic post-Soviet state.
(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...
Ukraine will always be a prize because of the extent of it and the port. I would be happy to see it merge with Mother Russia. And I believe it will. I really don’t think Independence has done anything for the people.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., we protest that sort of thing.
I think “We” Americans should send over the best of Obama’s diplomatic corps to help rally the Ukrainians to “Democracy” and if they happen to end up in a ditch bleeding out we will then mourn them and send Putin a sternly worded email.
Or, we could send some homos to the Olympics, and pajama-boy too. That’ll show him!
“I really dont think Independence has done anything for the people.”
Yea, I’m sure Ukrainians loved standing in those soviet era bread lines.
Unless it is a leftist authoritarian -- then the Media and leftwards cheer them on...
Russia is to Ukraine as Obama is to the US middle class.
“Ukraine dollar bonds up”
Well then I recommend you buy the Ukrainian dollar /sarc
“the EU offer of the rule of law, free trade, competition and reform.”
Compared to Russia. Ask Russian Oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky
We still have relatives in both Russia and the Ukraine.
And if they can’t do the job, send the Community Organizer in Chief.
If you want to best understand Ukraine, think of Chicago politics on a national scale. There’s corruption all over the place, but the people deal with it and make the best of it. And the citizenry are wonderful people. I have visited there twice in recent years and have never had a problem. All they want it is observance of the “rule of law” by everyone.
I don’t think this is a good deal for Ukraine at all. Russia is a dying country. Their demographics are terrible, GDP is forecasted to be near zero and oil revenue is falling. However, Putin offered cash upfront to help Ukraine hold off bankruptcy. The EU was not so forthcoming. But the Ukraine currency, the Hrivina (Greev-na), is not very tradable and integration with the euro would have been a big plus for them. I’m not saying the EU is without their problems, but they do offer more opportunities.
All in all, the Ukrainians are tough people after being conquered numerous times over the centuries. But it would help if the U.S. had a leader that believed in the “rule of law” and provided some pushback on Putin. Sadly, we don’t.
Russia gave help to a fraternal country - this was the most natural thing to do.
The “Euromaidan” movement has the illusions Brussels is wonderful! But in reality, Ukraine would sign over its statehood, its control over its budget and the welfare of its population to another colonial office. And Western aid to upgrade Ukraine’s economy to European standards would come with strings attached!
Ukraine’s opposition imagines the EU is a free gift. They’re rightfully suspicious of what Russian aid will entail but Russia has no desire nor the will to compromise Urainian statehood. On the other hand, in the seeming welcome of the West, Ukraine will get a new master! And any one in Ukraine who thinks association with the EU can be done on the cheap will receive a rude wakeup call.
Its not Russia’s business to decide for the people of Ukraine their future. They have every to make that choice for themselves without outside meddling, coercion or interference. But they should know exactly what they would be getting if they do turn West and it would be hard and Russia has to then protect its economy and markets. In principle, there is nothing against what the EU offers but it should be looked at soberly and objectively.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky is always held as some icon of business and free markets. He’s a monument to Soviet era strongman crap. In the 80, as a party member, he was allowed to open a business. Then he was allowed to found a Bank. Yes, a Bank, in the USSR, before the wall fell.
Guess what kids, regular people had zero chance of opening a capitalist bank there and then, unless you were nomenklatura, AND very trusted by the party.
Guess who got picked to administer the trust fund for the Chernobyl victims, good old party boy Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
After the dissolution of the USSR, everything that HAD been state owned, suddenly was ownerless. Apartments, factories, oilfields. This guy Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the strongest thugs who wound up on top of Yokos when it was privatized. Its not even disputed that there were numerous murders in the founding of Yukos. So he could back it up when he ran it.
Then he got into politics and was trying to buy enough power in the Duma to permanently protect him. He was literally an Oligarch. People even call him that and never pause to think about the meaning of that word. It isn’t a good word.
His misfortune is that he tried it on Putin. Like Khodorkovsky, Putin had emerged into political power from his own Soviet era background. When Mikhail Khodorkovsky was making clear moves at dethroning Putin, and gaining political power too, maybe even president, the battle occurred and he lost.
Khodorkovsky is barely discernible from Putin in his background, tactics, communist background, and connections. The only reason he is so beloved by the west is because he was willing to happily play with the London banking community no matter what the cost to normal Russians.
He isn’t a good guy, he just lost his game of king of the hill with someone a little faster and stronger.
And its probably better for Russia anyway.