In the 80s and 70s, the American business mogul and philanthropist, George Soros was involved in the peaceful transition of a number former Soviet republics from authoritarian communism to capitalist democracy. It is therefore not surprising to find that Soros found himself in the midst of yet another but more recent crisis involving yet another former Soviet country.
Most people who watch international news probably have a hint of the crisis that has faced Ukraine since early 2014. In January, that year Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, was the venue to civil protests that culminated in the ousting of the Russian-backed Yanukovych government. George Soros has stated time and again that this event marked the turning point in the political life of the Ukraine. Soros has remarked that the yearning for democracy shown by ordinary citizens in actively opposing a corrupt government, is the surest sign that Ukraine is worthy of inclusion in the European Union.
However, Ukraine is not yet a member of the union since negotiations for its entry were initiated. In 2009 Russian played major a role in the negotiations because Ukraine still had considerable economic ties with its former Soviet master. Russian had managed to outmaneuver the European Commission in the formulation of the Association Agreement. The articles in the agreement defined how Ukraine was to interact countries already full members of the EU. Thus, Ukraine was still under the political and financial whim of its former master.
George Soros – Project Syndicate
Ukraine Deserves Debt Relief
The continued perpetration of corrupt and underhand dealings within government is what lead to the protests in the Maidan. The fear that their government would compromise the inclusion of Ukraine in the EU was unbearable to its citizens. Unfortunately, the collapse of the Russian-backed government led to the emergence of Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Since then the country has been under constant civil strife instigated and perpetuated by the Putin-led Russian government. Soros, in his articles, has repeatedly expressed his distaste at the schemes that Russia has used to precipitate violence in Ukraine.
To compel Russia to desist from interfering with the political stability in Ukraine, the US and EU imposed economic sanctions on the former Soviet giant. These sanctions have also had the effect of dragging Ukraine into a payment crisis which then led to public debt and an eventual banking crisis. This was not a surprise to someone like Soros, who was aware that Russia had been and still was the largest trading partner to Ukraine.
George Soros has been advocating for the European Union to change its policy towards Ukraine. Soros argues that an initial financial assistance of $15 billion will allow Ukraine to achieve enough stability to allow for the success of current political reforms. The financial mogul insists that the EU is even capable of bankrolling a prolonged economic assistance program totaling to $50 billion.
The billionaire philanthropist believes that assisting Ukraine to become financially and politically stable can only lead to a stronger Europe. To him, the financial assistance to Ukraine is an important retaliation measure against Russia, an ally who has turned into a rival.
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