Obama’s UN ambassador said US will work with EU and IMF to “restructure” Ukraine’s debt
February 23, 2014
Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has warned Russia not to send troops to Ukraine to protect its assets in the country, including a naval base at Sevastopol on the Black Sea.
“It’s not in the interest of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or of the United States to see a country split. It’s in nobody’s interests to see violence return and the situation escalate,” Rice said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.
She said it would be a “grave mistake” for Russia to consider using its military in defense of its national interests. The United States routinely uses its military to protect its national interests and what it defines as its national security.
“There is not an inherent contradiction … between a Ukraine that has longstanding historic and cultural ties to Russia and a modern Ukraine that wants to integrate more closely with Europe. This need not be mutually exclusive,” said Rice.
Rice also said the United States will work with the European Union and “international organizations” (primarily the International Monetary Fund) to restructure the Ukrainian economy.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Sunday that Ukraine should accept loans from the IMF to avoid default on its previous loan obligations. Acceptance would entail implementing neoliberal structural reforms, also known as Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs). SAPs invariably result in looting of natural resources and infrastructure of the targeted country and are a major cause of poverty.
Following the fall of the Yanukovych government and the collapse of a loan deal with Russia to help Ukraine shore up its tottering economy, members of the international finance cartel meeting in Sydney, Australia, discussed the possibility of Ukraine returning to the IMF fold. Russia also insisted on reforms as a condition. Moscow was, however, primarily interested in securing the Yanukovych government and ensuring political loyalty to Moscow.
Ukraine has twice failed to implement IMF SAPs. The “reforms” would have raised the price of natural gas and forced the government to reduce salaries and pension, thus compounding poverty.