IMF Bail out for Ukraine – is it enough?

The International Monetary Fund has announced a $14-16 billion bail out for cash-strapped Ukraine.

Will that be enough?

Ukraine switched from two year to single year reporting for tax purposes last year and I understand that, as a result, this year’s tax take is going to be much lower than usual, as companies and businesspeople have done their best to minimise tax exposure.

I was told last December, during a visit to Kiev, that this, alone, would leave Ukraine with a $30 billion hole in its public finances.

Cynically, one could say that now Crimea is ‘gone’ there will be some savings to the exchequer there, but nonetheless the current government has very little time to put into place policies that will keep the public on its side before really serious fiscal problems cause further trouble in a deeply unstable situation.

Ukrainians became disaffected with a ‘liberal’ regime after the Orange Revolution of 2004 for largely economic reasons (and public disquiet over corruption) and voted in Yanukovych and his cronies – who were even more corrupt.

They could make the same mistake again as the current government will get a lot of flak for problems that they have inherited…

Putin, Crimea and Russia’s Collapse – Anders Aslund

Anders Aslund pulls no punches in this Op-ed from The Moscow TImes: “In one month, Putin has managed to squander the diplomatic achievements of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Boris Yeltsin and turn Russia into an international pariah similar to Iran, Belarus or Venezuela….”

This is worrying though, if one thinks through the logical implications: “An overlooked fact is that 40 percent of Ukraine’s exports to Russia consist of machinery and armaments. Motor Sich in Zaporozhe produces all of Russia’s helicopter engines, Yuzhmash in Dnipropetrovsk manufactures carrier rockets and missiles and Antonov makes planes in Kiev. The Russian military-industrial complex will be in great trouble without these imports. ”
Worth reading the entire piece:

No sex please, we’re Ukrainians!

Al Jazeera reports that some Ukrainian women are calling for a sex embargo against Russians in response to the Kremlin’s intervention in Ukraine. This is just one of many tactics Ukrainians and citizens of neighbouring countries are using to protest Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

The Facebook page “Don’t give it to a Russian” was launched last week.

Don’t hold your breath, but I’d not be surprised if there was already a site guaranteeing that Russians gals will only give out to Russian men….

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