Ukraine’s new IMF loan: A bribe to save Minsk? `

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September 15, 2016 – Fort Russ News – 

– Ruslan Ostashko, PolitRussia – translated by J. Arnoldski

A “victory” has happened in Ukraine, and it must be acknowledged. The Kiev regime managed, after nearly a year of delay, to obtain another loan from the IMF. Now Kiev is striding about proudly, and the reason is clear. The Banderite state has shown the “Moskals” and will now be able to literally soar to the peaks of economic development thanks to a billion dollar new loan!

It’s worth recalling the famous law of development of information flows related to Ukraine. Any “victory” necessarily turns into “betrayal.” There are different half-life period of “victories”, but sometimes they fall apart right before the very eyes of the astonished public. Something similar is happening this time as well.

I am not going to dwell on such interesting trifles like how Ukraine received only 60% of the previously proposed loan, and I am not going to focus on the statement of IMF head Christine Lagarde, who said that what is important is that the issue of outstanding sovereign debt be resolved quickly, thereby hinting at the need to negotiate with Russia on the debt of Yanukovich’s so-called bonds.

Something else interests me much more: where will this money go?

The IMF’s loan program includes targets, i.e., the money cannot be spent on arbitrary needs or just simply stolen. So, what is important to understand here is where this billion dollars will be specifically spent. If someone thinks that this billion will plug the holes in the budget, go to pay teachers or soldiers, or subsidize the utility bills of the poor, then I’m going to disappoint you. There will be none of this.

Ukraine’s finance minister, Mr. Danilyuk, stated to Reuters Agency that the new IMF loan will help Ukraine’s state debt. Translated from finance language into English, this means that the money will go through some Ukrainian transit accounts and end up in the pockets of Ukrainian debt’s Western holders. 

And here the logic of the IMF becomes more clear: the organization has once again saved its Western friends from the financial sector and, apparently, picked just the right amount they need. This explains the reduction of the loan by nearly double.

Kiev has apparently thought that the sincerity of the finance minister in dealing with American journalists was a bit dumb and is disturbing the “victory.” This is probably why another official version was launched according to which it is claimed that the billion will go to increase the National Bank of Ukraine’s international reserves. 

Once again, translated from the language of finance into English, this means that the IMF gave Ukraine a billion dollars to sell for hryvnia to the oligarchs who are siphoning off their capital abroad. This version also fits well into the “IMF saves its own” logic.

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It is noteworthy that none of these scenarios provides any serious support for the Ukrainian economy or budget. This satellite state of the US is being given the opportunity to survive until after presidential elections in America, so that the current White House administration can quietly shift the problem onto the next one. In this whole story, there’s yet another factor which should be taken into account: the decision to allocate the reduced loan, strangely enough, coincided with the visit to Kiev of the foreign ministers of Germany and France.

They’ve come to Kiev to manhandle Poroshenko. I don’t know what tools they have, but based on preliminary statements, their task is a serious one. They are conducting an operation to force Poroshenko to fulfill the Minsk Agreements, i.e., to try to force the Kiev regime to do what it simply can’t. 

French Foreign Minister Herault said: 

“We mean a ceasefire, of course, and the withdrawal of troops in the three pilot zones. This also includes legislation on local elections in Donbass, and the region’s special status. The next stage of this continuous process is the Rada’s approval of a law on elections and a special status for Donbass, expanding the pilot zones, removing heavy weaponry and keeping them under control, ensuring access for observers to the territories of Donbass, and creating advanced OSCE bases.”

It cannot be ruled out that the IMF has given the money as long as Poroshenko promises to fulfill everything at the persistent requests of Germany and France. If this is true, then our European partners will have to learn that they’ve wasted their money in vain. It is most likely that the plan will fail at the stage of passing laws on Donbass’ special status, but if by some miracle they are passed, then at the next stage Kiev will simply explode. 

The last stage in implementing the Minsk Agreements according to the German-French tandem sounds like this: 

“The third stage will be the Verkhovna Rada’s adoption of a date for elections, the completion of constitutional reform, adopting amnesty laws, simultaneously and in parallel diluting troops along the whole front line, creating new checkpoints, freeing hostages, and finishing the removal of troops, and full access to the border.”

Sometimes miracles do happen, but I’m afraid that not this time. The main intrigue here is not if Kiev will spit on this plan, but what Germany and France will do when Kiev, and no one else, tears up the Minsk Agreements despite the direct attempt by European ministers to lead the process. 

Don’t think that Ukraine will be left without consequences. If Germany and France really wanted to blame Russia for everything, then it wouldn’t make any sense to fly the ministers to Kiev and attempt to force Poroshenko to do something. It would suffice to say that Russia is not fulfilling Minsk and that’s it.

This is a more complicated game, and its results will clearly not be liked by Ukrainian politicians. Until then, let them rejoice over their billion dollars. Soon enough, they won’t have anything to celebrate. 

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