Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why the EU Lost Ukraine


Contrary to the impression arising from basically one-sided coverage by Western media outlets, the  EU didn't offer Ukraine membership in the 28-member economic and political union. Instead, the EU offered Ukraine an association agreement along with loans worth 610 million euro ($827 million) and the possibility of a 1 billion euro (about $1.4 billion) IMF loan tied to austerity measures certain to cause immediate massive unemployment and widespread economic misery--savage spending cuts called "reforms"--which would have supposedly paved the way for longterm prosperity. You know, like in Greece or Portugal, or Spain or Italy, or in the UK, where austerity has deepened the recession and created joblessness--especially youth unemployment--on a scale that threatens the democracies with social instability, chaos and anarchy and fascist upheavals or coups.

In reality, stripped of all the propagandistic nonsense, the German-dominated European Union seemed bent on dominating Ukraine for decades to come in order to turn it into a permanent platform for low-wage manufacturing. (A more modern and civilized form of forced labor, some might argue.)

The EU also insisted on the release of a jailed oligarch, former Ukrainian president Yulia Tymoshenko.

In contrast with the EU, Russia offered Ukraine

  • $15 billion in loans,
  • no savage spending cuts,  
  • deeply discounted natural gas.

Hmm…. Austerity or no austerity? Slightly more than $2 billion in loans or $15 billion in loans? Cheap energy--the lifeblood of any country--or expensive energy?

What's there to compare?

Nothing, really.

-André Pachter

Related: End the EU or Make Growth-and-Job-Friendly