The Ukrainian economic outlook is bleak: only 45 percent voice a willingness to cut social benefits in return for Western financial assistance.
To help Ukraine reverse economic course, the IMF, the United States, Europe and the World Bank agreed to approve rescue package, including loans and other findings. In return, the government in Kiev has agreed to substantially increase both retail gas and heating prices. It will cancel pension and public sector wage increases planned for this year and freeze public sector hiring. It plans to abandon a cut in the sales tax, hike duties on diesel fuel, and impose new sales taxes on pharmaceutical and medical products.
Foreing Policy raises the question “Is Ukrainians prove to be Latvian or Greeks?” The answer to the latter question – a test of Ukrainians’ willingness to engage in meaningful structural economic reform (especially if it involves economic belt-tightening) may determine whether Western aid to that beleaguered nation facilitates a much-needed economic revival. Just 45 percent say the country should accept economic aid from Western nations if their government must agree to reduce spending and social benefits in return, according to the Pew Research Center survey. “It suggests that Ukrainians may be more Greek than Latvian,” the journalist adds pitifully.
Ukraine Ambassador Olexander Motsyk: all actions taken so far and all sanctions currently in place have not protected the security and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal:
The international community must continue to act until our territorial integrity is restored, namely, until Crimea is returned to Ukraine,” the ambassador says. “Of course, the amount of $27 billion is only the minimum rescue package for the Ukrainian economy, taking into account the current situation,” Olexander Motsyk replies. “These days we continue to count on the U.S. government assisting my country with various types of non-lethal support. Ukrainian Armed Forces need a lot of military-technical support and assistance.”
One of the most influential Forbes authors criticises Europe and the U.S. for their weak position toward Russia.
He thinks “the United States and the European Union have used Putin’s fables to put off tough sanctions.” “Although Putin disrupted the May 25 Ukraine elections, does not intend to recognize its results, and is behind the invasion by Russian “volunteers,” the US and EU continue to hide behind the fig leaf of plausible deniability and lack of conclusive evidence, while Russian propaganda blames them for the Ukrainian tragedy,” says the article. The author thinks that it is easy to prove that Russia is behind the invasion of Ukraine by thousands of Russian mercenaries. The United States and the European Union have nonetheless refrained from tough sanctions based upon the assurances of a known liar. Gregory describes the position of the West in such a way: “Let’s threaten tough sanctions to make ourselves look good, but let’s be sure not to use them.”
Before his visit to France Vladimir Putin points out that the new Ukrainian government must start negotiating process to solve the crisis.
In the run-up to his visit to France, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Radio Europe 1 and TF1 Channel. Putin speaks out on Ukrainian crises, relations with France and on other topics. Talking about Ukrainian crisis and the role of Russia in destabilisation of the situation in Ukraine, Putin once more states that “There are no armed forces, no Russian ‘instructors’ in southeastern Ukraine.” He also insists that “people – wherever they live – have their rights and they must be able to fight for them.” Russian leader condemns the U.S. in imperialism. “Speaking of US policy, it’s clear that the United States is pursuing the most aggressive and toughest policy to defend their own interests,” Putin adds. “There are US military bases everywhere around the world and they are always involved in the fates of other countries even though they are thousands of kilometres away from US borders.”
There is no unity in EU thoughts about Ukraine’s future – Italian and Polish Foreign Ministers about the Ukrainian crisis and the future of Ukraine.
“The situation in Ukraine gets out of hand,” Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini recognises. “The clashes continue and it means that Ukrainian crisis has deep roots. While discussing the situation in Ukraine 3 months ago, there was the only answer that the problem was in Moscow. But the problem exists also in Ukraine. EU has lost its opportunity: if EU had organised a dialogue, we could have avoided a lot of problems. The key idea was that the partnership with Europe could be an alternative, but not the supplement to the partnership with Russia. EU goes into rhetoric, which is more likely for Moscow,” the minister says.
The head of the Polish diplomacy Radoslav Sikorski: Russia must accept that Ukraine has chosen Europe, so Moscow must not use force to change this direction.
Poland’s foreign minister urged France on Tuesday to cancel a 1.2 billion euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, saying these would be used to threaten east European nations. Asked if France should deliver the two vessels, Radoslaw Sikorski told Le Monde newspaper: “No, because Russian generals have already said what these ships will be used for: to threaten Russia’s neighbours in the Black Sea and that means Europe’s partners. I don’t think France would want to be in the position of supplying efficient weapons to an aggressor.” Reacting to the question about his expectations from Putine-Hollande meeting, Sikorski said: ” We must act in areas under our control and create a more competitive gas market in Europe. We must continue to buy Russian gas but we must stop to pay too much. We now know what is the long-term price for gas, because China is now paying a wholesale price for Russian gas and pays less than the Europeans. Everything we set above the Chinese price is the extra cost we pay for not having an energy union within the EU”.
Controversy between US and EU.
Despite a new security situation in Europe and massive demands of U.S. President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Germany is not willing to increase defense spending. In the course of NATO meeting in Brussels Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced: “We have a budget of 32 billion, that’s a final word!”. Nowadays Germany spends only 1,3% of its GDP on military, while NATO requires at least 2%. Germany defense spending ranked only 14 within NATO countries.