George Soros has written and spoken extensively on the issues concerning Ukraine’s independence and what can be done by the international community to ensure that this country is able to fend off Russian interference. One of his most extensive articles written for The New York Review of Books details the types of policies Soros thinks would help pull Ukraine out of financial destitution and allow the country to get on proper footing.
One of the most prominent aspects of European and American policy toward Ukraine and Russia has been the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Soros explains that these sanctions have had a devastating impact on the Russian economy, which has worked to slow down Russia’s quest for international dominance. Another force that has worked in conjunction with the sanctions against Russia has been the incredibly low oil prices, which is a major factor in Russia’s economy. Without an enormous hike in oil prices, Russia has little hope of regaining its economic footing. Soros has high praise for the levels of sanctions that have been put in place against Russia and urges that they be continued to keep Vladimir Putin’s ambitions in check.
Along with maintaining the sanctions against Russia, Soros recommends that more aid and assistance should be afforded to Ukraine so that it is able to hold its own against Russia for many years to come. While there is certainly goodwill involved in wanting Ukraine to succeed, Soros says this is also a way for Europe to ensure that Russia does not become an even greater threat to the security of the continent as a whole. According to Soros, Putin is still obsessed with destabilizing and interfering in Ukraine’s affairs. The more stable and secure Ukraine appears to be, the lower the likelihood that Putin will take another gamble in meddling in Ukraine’s affairs.
George Soros – The New York Times
Even though these considerations make perfect sense to Soros, he laments that they are not being taken seriously enough by European leadership right now. Part of the explanation for this, per Soros’ view, is that the European public is either not aware or not fully informed of the very real threat that Putin continues to pose to the whole region. Because of the lack of perceived threat, Europeans see Ukraine as simply another debtor country that is constantly asking for more money from its European allies. However, Soros proposes that Ukraine be viewed as a prime investment opportunity for the safety of all of Europe.
To help Ukraine maintain its stability, Soros says that the European Union should match funds to allow the IMF to lend an additional $13 billion to Ukraine. In addition, Soros recommends that European Investment Bank project bonds should be used to help dismantle the natural gas monopoly in Ukraine that is stifling economic reforms. This would yield a high return on investment for creditors and help Ukraine become a stronger trade partner as well.
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