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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Akhmetov’s Foundation to Lobby for Ukraine in Washington?

Washington is becoming a public relations playground for Ukraine's oligarchs.

This time, it's not about Viktor Pinchuk, Ukraine’s second-richest man. It's about Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man.

Enjoy this article on how Akhmetov’s Foundation for Effective Governance “is mounting a campaign to press Washington to treat the newly democratic nation as a key ally in Europe.”



elmer said...

Japan has the 2nd largest economy on the planet.

Ukraine has the 4th largest debt, relatively, on the planet.

Ukraine has the highest per capita consumption of natural gas of any European country.

So a few people (doesn't say how many people really attended this thing) get together OUTSIDE Ukraine to say stuff that we already know.

That EVERYONE already knows.

That Ukraine's economy is in crisis, like elsewhere in the world.

Including what's already been said INSIDE Ukraine - that all of the "political forces" need to get together to deal with the economic crisis.

That the IMF won't lend any more money, because Ukraine didn't do what it was supposed to do.

Is anyone in Ukraine listening?

Is Yushchenko/Baloha listening?

Is Tymoshenko, are her oligarchs listening?

Is Yanukovych, are his oligarchs listening?

The oligarchs are too used to the "Ukrainian third way," and the Kuchma "multi-vector" games, which put lots of money - Western money - in their pockets.

This is different.

If Ukraine's "political forces" (read - oligarch clans, because Ukraine really does not have any political parties) think that this is another opportunity to put money in their pockets, at the expense of the West, and at the expense of the Ukrainian people - think again.

They are either going to put Ukraine truly into the toilet, if they continue bickering.

And even their own diamond watches and Mercedes and BMW's are going to be put in peril, if they continue bickering.

Leopolis said...

Yep. I was there. A good 10 minutes was devoted to the fact that the organization was independent and non-political despite being owned by "Anna Akhmetova."

Apparently, Akhmetov has shelled out $50 million over the next five years for the organization. That's a lot of money.

The most interesting aspect of all this is that since I've lived here in Washington, I've seen them all -- YU, Yulka, YA -- lobby in person for Congressional favor as the "chosen leader of Ukraine."

This is just one more example.

Taras said...


It’s a money game. You nailed it. And, yes, instead of investing in energy efficiency, they’re investing in publicity.

But where did you get the debt figures?

As of October 1, 2008, Ukraine's external debt ran at $105.4B, or 56.4% of the GDP.

Here’s a relatively outdated list of countries by external debt.

Even if adjusted for debt growth and inflation, Ukraine would be nowhere near the top.


Thank you for the valuable insights into the Ukrainian dimension of Washington life!

It’s good to hear from someone who actually attended the event! Did they serve caviar?:)

From my point of view, it looks like another talkathon — a little private Donbas-sponsored Davos.

If effective governance was the goal, then the money would be better spent elsewhere.

The money would be better spent in Ukraine — on improving governance in Ukraine — not on currying favors with the Washington establishment.

elmer said...

From my point of view, it looks like promotion of Donbass, not Ukraine.

What a waste of money.

Taras, I'll see if I can get you a reference - I saw it the other day.

I note that the Kyiv Post is reporting a trade surplus for Ukraine, for the first time in quite a while.

Taras said...

With the dollar almost doubling in price — in less than a year — plus an additional 13% imports tariff, imports are shrinking rapidly.