Monday, May 27, 2019

Ukrainian Default Kolomoysky Urges Would Cost Kyiv Western Support and Force It into Moscow’s Embrace, Bielieskov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 27 – Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoysky is urging that Ukraine default on its foreign debt as a way to kick start its economy, but such a step, Mykola Bielieskov says, would cost Kyiv the support it enjoys in the West and almost certainly force it to accept Moscow’s conditions.

            In a comment for the Gordon news agency, the deputy director of the Kyiv Institute of World Politics argues default might benefit Kolomoysky but would be a disaster for Ukraine (

            Default would give Kolomoysky a better chance to get more than two billion US dollars from the IMF, but while he might benefit, Ukraine would not, Bielieskov says. “Debt in the West is something holy,” and any failure to pay what one owes as in the case of default would lead to a break with the country’s Western partners.

            That would almost certainly force Ukraine to turn to Moscow and make greater concessions to the Russians than would otherwise be the case, and it would quite likely lead to an economic crisis in Ukraine. Those who point to cases when default led to positive outcomes forget that the positive outcomes came not so much because of default but from other causes.

            Ukraine cannot count on them, Bielieskov says; and so it should not be misled by those who would profit for themselves at the expense of Ukraine and weaken the country which continues to be under attack from the Russian Federation. Both economics and politics thus dictates that default be rejected.

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