Original title: “Europe has no chance of becoming stable because of Ukraine”
Everyone wants to help Ukraine but no one knows exactly how. Time has passed, and yet nothing has changed. All tested methods of international aid were defeated. Consultative, financial, and military assistance was tried on more than one occasion.
Ukraine is like a bottomless pit that absorbs aid without showing any substantial results.
According to The Guardian, “In over a year, living standards in Ukraine have fallen by half, the currency has lost 350% of its value, and inflation has skyrocketed to 43%. The economy has collapsed, the internal policy can be termed as suicidal.” It seems as if the Ukrainian governmental authorities think that the sources of help, and the patience of those who are willing to help are inexhaustible. Corruption and administrative impotence at the highest level has made the needed reforms impossible. All experienced consultants who once gave advice to Ukraine on how to survive, including the invited foreigners in the government, have turned out to be too incompetent to face the fact that the European methods are not working in the country. The Lithuanian-born former Ukrainian Economy Minister, Aivaras Abromavicius, in his resignation speech in February said he wouldn’t be a “puppet” for officials who, according to Abromavicius, are blocking the overhaul of the ex-Soviet republic’s economy and institutions. Thus, the consultative aid proved to be absolutely ineffectual.
At the same time, the state of the economy continues to deteriorate.
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On March 14th, Ukraine’s US-born Finance Minister, Natalie Jaresko, said that the ongoing delay in securing a new tranche of financial aid from the International Monetary Fund was affecting the level of confidence in the economy.
Ukraine was ready to submit a new memorandum, which was required to secure the money, in February, but the resignation of the economy minister over allegations of corruption derailed the process. Even if Ukraine submits the memorandum in March, it will have to wait until the IMF board meeting in April to secure the money. In other words, future financial aid is a source of further dispute.
The only kind of assistance that has given results, even today, is military assistance. The other questions are: what kind of results? And does Europe need such results? New tensions with Russia, the continuation of war, and instability in the region will be the inevitable consequences of such aid. The most active suppliers of military assistance to Ukraine are the US and Canada. Primarily, this is because of their military and financial strength, and… their distance from the “hot spot” in Europe.
It is always better to observe the military conflict from a safe distance. They even gain political dividends at the expense of Ukraine. The US Republican Presidential candidate and Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, promised to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons in the first 100 days after his election victory. Are people such as Kasich aware of all the consequences? Military training is one thing, but lethal weapons are something else entirely. Is there anything in the world more important than money and political power? It is awful to know that someone else is the beneficiary of the conflict in Ukraine. Canada, in turn, is trying to play a bigger military role in Ukraine. On April 14th, 2015, the Canadian government announced that it would deploy around 200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Ukraine until March 31st, 2017. Moreover, Canada sent $15 million to Ukraine for institution building and non-lethal equipment, $220 million in support of the Ukrainian economy, and $3 million to NATO Centers of Excellence (cyber security, energy security, and strategic communications).
Europe has no chance of becoming stable until Ukraine becomes a democratic state and is capable of making democratic reforms, until politicians stop behaving like barbarians during Verkhovna Rada Sessions, and start to respect themselves and the Ukrainian people. The other condition for stability is the foreign states’ awareness of the consequences of their actions and words. Only diplomatic steps can resolve the conflict, not war. A small war can lead to a greater one with the involvement of more than two sides. Does Europe really want such a war?