Ilargi: How Far Is It From Kiev To Athens?

By Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor-in-chief of The Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

Riddle me this, Batman. I don’t think I get it, and I definitely don’t get why nobody is asking any questions. The IMF and EU make a lot of noise – through the Eurogroup – about all the conditions Greece has to address to get even a mild extension of support, while the same IMF and EU keep on handing out cash to Ukraine without as much as a whisper – at least publicly.

The Kiev government, which has been ceaselessly and ruthlessly attacking its own people, is now portrayed as needing – monetary and military – western help in order to be able to ‘defend’ itself. From the people it’s been attacking, presumably. And hardly a soul in the west asks what that is all about.

Why did Kiev kill 5000 of its own citizens? Because there are people in East Ukraine who had – and still have – the guts to say they don’t want to be ruled by a regime willing to murder them for saying they don’t want to be ruled by it. And just in case there’s any confusion left about this, yes, that is the regime we are actively supporting, in undoubtedly many more ways than are made public. All the doubts about the western narrative are swept aside with one move: blame Putin.

Of the two countries, Greece, despite its humanitarian issues, is by far the luckiest one. Ukraine is quite a few steps further down the hill. One can be forgiven for contemplating that the west, aided by President Poroshenko and the Yats regime in Kiev, is dead set on obliterating the entire nation.

There are again peace talks under way, with no – direct – Anglo-Saxon involvement, but as the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany meet, Britain announces it’s sending military personnel into Ukraine and Poroshenko buys weapons from UAE, which is the same as saying from America. Where does he get the money? Chocolate sales? Had a good Valentine’s campaign?

Baltic states reinforce their armies (Lithuania just launched conscription), as NATO expands its presence there. The constantly repeated message is that Putin will attack them. It’s a made-up story. Poroshenko says he wants Crimea back, even as he knows full well that’s not going to happen.

What part of the fresh round of IMF/EU loans will go towards arms purchases? Can Brussels please supply a run-down ASAP? Don’t Europeans have a right to know where their money goes?

To start with, here’s a – partial – overview of loans from Constantin Gurdgiev:

IMF Package for Ukraine: Some Pesky Macros

Ukraine package of funding from the IMF and other lenders remains still largely unspecified, but it is worth recapping what we do know and what we don’t.Total package is USD40 billion. Of which, USD17.5 billion will come from the IMF and USD22.5 billion will come from the EU. The US seemed to have avoided being drawn into the financial singularity they helped (directly or not) to create. We have no idea as to the distribution of the USD22.5 billion across the individual EU states, but it is pretty safe to assume that countries like Greece won’t be too keen contributing.

Cyprus probably as well. Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy – all struggling with debts of their own also need this new ‘commitment’ like a hole in the head. Belgium might cheerfully pony up (with distinctly Belgian cheer that is genuinely overwhelming to those in Belgium). But what about the countries like the Baltics and those of the Southern EU? Does Bulgaria have spare hundreds of million floating around? Hungary clearly can’t expect much of good will from Kiev, given its tango with Moscow, so it is not exactly likely to cheer on the funding plans… Who will?

Austria and Germany and France, though France is never too keen on parting with cash, unless it gets more cash in return through some other doors. In Poland, farmers are protesting about EUR100 million that the country lent to Ukraine. Wait till they get the bill for their share of the USD22.5 billion coming due.

Recall that in April 2014, IMF has already provided USD17 billion to Ukraine and has paid up USD4.5 billion to-date. In addition, Ukraine received USD2 billion in credit guarantees (not even funds) from the US, EUR1.8 billion in funding from the EU and another EUR1.6 billion in pre-April loans from the same source. Germany sent bilateral EUR500 million and Poland sent EUR100 million, with Japan lending USD300 million.

Here’s a kicker. With all this ‘help’ Ukrainian debt/GDP ratio is racing beyond sustainability bounds. Under pre-February ‘deal’ scenario, IMF expected Ukrainian debt to peak at USD109 billion in 2017. Now, with the new ‘deal’ we are looking at debt (assuming no write down in a major restructuring) reaching for USD149 billion through 2018 and continuing to head North from there.

In other words, the loans are only and exclusively making Ukraine’s position worse. The Greeks may feel like debt slaves, but Ukrainians face a far darker feudal situation. They’re going to be -debt -prisoners in their own country. And that has nothing to do with Putin, it’s the ultimate shock doctrine. The distinct impression to me is the country will be turned into a testing ground for NATO and western military industries. Which is why ‘we’ have been so intent on engaging Russia in the Ukraine conflict.

But back to the loans first:

The point is that the situation in the Ukrainian economy is so grave, that lending Kiev money cannot be an answer to the problems of stabilising the economy and getting economic recovery on a sustainable footing. With all of this, the IMF ‘plan’ begs three questions:

  • Least important: Where’s the European money coming from?
  • More important: Why would anyone lend funds to a country with fundamentals that make Greece look like Norway?
  • Most important: How on earth can this be a sustainable package for the country that really needs at least 50% of the total funding in the form of grants, not loans? That needs real investment, not debt? That needs serious reconstruction and such deep reforms, it should reasonably be given a decade to put them in place, not 4 years that IMF is prepared to hold off on repayment of debts owed to it under the new programme?
  • Why indeed? One thing seems certain: reconstruction is not in the cards. All assets will be sold for scrap, and most citizens ‘encouraged’ to cross one of many borders Ukraine has. Britain is next up in the escalation process. Again, as German/French talks with Russia continue.

    Britain To Send Military Advisers To Ukraine, Announces Cameron

    Britain was pulled closer towards a renewed cold war with Russia when David Cameron announced UK military trainers are to be deployed to help Ukraine forces stave off further Russian backed incursions into sovereign Ukraine territory. The decision – announced on Tuesday but under consideration by the UK national security council since before Christmas – represents the first deployment of British troops to the country since the near civil war in eastern Ukraine began more than a year ago. Downing Street said the deployment was not just a practical bilateral response to a request for support, but a signal to the Russians that Britain will not countenance further large scale annexations of towns in Ukraine.

    The prime minister said Britain would be “the strongest pole in the tent”, and argued for tougher sanctions against Moscow if Russian-backed militias in eastern Ukraine failed to observe the provisions of a ceasefire agreement reached this month with the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko. Downing Street said some personnel would be leaving this week as part of the training mission. Initially 30 trainers will be despatched to Kiev with 25 providing advice on medical training, logistics, intelligence analysis and infantry training. A bigger programme of infantry training is expected to follow soon after taking the total number of trainers to 75.

    That’s simply war-mongering, and precious little else. We may wonder about the timing, but not the intention. Cameron goes on to make some really bizarre statements:

    He said there was no doubt about Russian support for the rebels. “What we are seeing is Russian-backed aggression, often these are Russian troops, they are Russian tanks, they are Russian Grad missiles. You can’t buy these things on eBay, they are coming from Russia, people shouldn’t be in any doubt about that. “We have got the intelligence, we have got the pictures and the world knows that. Sometimes people don’t want to see that but that is the fact.”

    No, Mr. Cameron, the problem is, the world does not know that, because it has never been shown either the intelligence or the pictures. Why not provide them? Because you don’t have them, is the only reason I can think of after a full year full of alleged activity of which there is not one shred of proof, but a million tons of accusations and innuendo. It’s literally a propaganda war, with the other side hardly firing back at all. And then there’s this from RT:

    East Ukraine Artillery Withdrawal In Focus – As Poroshenko Buys UAE Weapons

    While the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were meeting in Paris to talk about the Eastern Ukraine peace settlement, it was revealed that the Ukrainian president has struck a deal on arms supplies from the UAE. The four ministers agreed on the need for the ceasefire to be respected, as well as on the need to extend the OSCE mission in Eastern Ukraine, reinforcing it with more funding, personnel and equipment. It’s important for Kiev troops and the rebels to start withdrawing heavy weapons right now, without waiting for the time “when not a single shot is fired,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the meeting.

    He added that his German and French counterparts thought it a positive development that the Donetsk and the Lugansk rebels had started to pull their artillery back. “The situation has significantly improved, that was acknowledged by my partners,” Lavrov said. “However, sporadic violations are being registered by the OSCE observers.” The withdrawal of heavy weaponry by Kiev troops and the rebels is part of the ceasefire deal struck in Minsk earlier in February. The Donetsk militia has announced it is complying.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has meanwhile reached an agreement on weapons supplies from the United Arab Emirates. That’s according to a Facebook post by advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko. The deal was struck with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. “It’s worth emphasizing that unlike Europeans and Americans, the Arabs aren’t afraid of Putin’s threats of a third world war starting in case of arms and ammunition supplies to Ukraine,” Gerashchenko wrote. He also said he believed the UAE blamed Russia for the drop in oil prices. “So, this is going to be their little revenge,” the adviser said.

    Curious. Now it’s the Russians who are to blame for the oil price plunge? Weren’t they supposed to be the major victims? And when did Putin threaten with WWIII? There’s more to this:

    [..].. former US diplomat James Jatras told RT: “This discussion in Washington about supplying weapons has been going on for some time. Usually that indicates that some kind of a covert program is already in operation and that we already are supplying some weapons directly,” he said. Jatras added that it is hard to believe that UAE would sell these weapons to Ukraine “without a green light from Washington.”

    I would think the same thing: plenty forces in Washington who want nothing more than to supply weapons to Kiev, and there’s always a way. Note that Germany and France, the western partners in the peace talks, have so far managed to prevent direct arms supplies. They’ve now been blindsided, or so it would seem. Maybe it’s time for Merkel to pull her weight here, and a bit less on Greece. Germany doesn’t want an escalating warzone on its doorstep.

    Meanwhile, the gas delivery issue is heating up again (pun intended). Ukraine continues to provoke Russia, but it will have to pay eventually. Unless escalation is the real goal, and freezing Eastern Europeans will be deemed a justifiable sacrifice.

    Kiev Cash-For-Gas Fail Could Cost EU Its Supply (In 2 Days) – Gazprom

    Russia will completely cut Ukraine off gas supplies in two days if Kiev fails to pay for deliveries, which will create transit risks for Europe, Gazprom has said. Ukraine has not paid for March deliveries and is extracting all it can from the current paid supply, seriously risking an early termination of the advance settlement and a supply cutoff, Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller told journalists. The prepaid gas volumes now stand at 219 million cubic meters. “It takes about two days to get payment from Naftogaz deposited to a Gazprom account. That’s why a delivery to Ukraine of 114 million cubic meters will lead to a complete termination of Russian gas supplies as early as in two days, which creates serious risks for the transit to Europe,” Miller said.

    Earlier this month, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak estimated Ukraine’s debt to Russian energy giant Gazprom at $2.3 billion. In the end of 2014, Kiev’s massive gas debt that stood above $5 billion, forced Moscow to suspend gas deliveries to Ukraine for nearly six months. On December 9, Russia resumed its supplies under the so-called winter package deal, which expires on April 1, 2015. [..] On Monday, Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz accused Gazprom of failing to deliver gas that Kiev had paid for in advance. Naftogaz says Russia has broken an agreement to deliver 114 million of cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine by delivering only 47 million cubic meters.

    During a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on February 20, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed concern about an increase in daily applications by Ukraine for the supply of gas, TASS reports. He noted that “Ukraine’s consumers have requested a larger supply; the volume has increased by 2.5 times. This means that the prepaid volumes left are enough for no more than two to three days.”

    Overall, there seems to be little left that can be done to de-escalate the situation. The Donbass rebels may retreat some heavy weapons, but they won’t want to risk being defeated by a freshly replenished Ukraine/US/UK army. The make-up of which is ever harder to envision, since a few hundred thousand potential soldiers have already fled the country. Unless they extend the draft to 12- to 80-year-old women, what Ukrainians will be left to fight? And who will want to? Except for the private battallions of questionable make-up, that is.

    Ukraine will at some point in the not too distant future be so impoverished that a new Maidan type revolution may be inevitable. There should really be elections in the country as soon as possible, but that doesn’t look likely to happen. Why Yatsenyuk is still PM should be a mystery, he was elected by a parliament at gunpoint. And he’s a US puppet, who’s recently invited three US citizens into key positions in his cabinet. Ukrainians may be scared to speak up, but if they don’t, things could get much worse real fast.

    It’s once again time for the people to take to the streets. But that risks turning into an awful bloodbath that could make Kiev look like the Dresden. Unless all international parties retreat from Ukraine, there doesn’t seem to be a solution that would benefit the people.

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    1. Everythings Jake

      Cripes. Tsipiras and Varoufakis should stage a “Wag the Dog” like Marxist-Islamicist revolution on one of the island chains. Nuland can then be jetted in (while Dijsselbloem and Schauble gnash their teeth that some modest non-vampiric action might be taken) to grease the palms of neo-nazi fascists with money stolen from starving U.S. schoolchildren and forgive debt in an entirely unforgiveable way. Goldman Sachs can find a way to sell pension funds another billion in grade AAA rated toxic crud on the entirely false promise of the Golden Dawn. Dimon can illegaly foreclose on more military families (oops, but still love the troops). Obama can sell some horse puckey that no one really believes anymore. La Clinton can chastise him for insufficiently hawkish speechmaking. Netanyahu can draw cartoons of nuclear bombs with Iranian beards exploding in the Aegean. And Williams can regale us with the tale of how his SUV almost flipped over when a goat drunk on ouzo crossed the road 100 miles ahead of his location although his vehicle actually passed 300 miles west of the spot. All courtesy of the Kochs who have promised to spend in the next election what each candidate spent in aggregate in the last. When exactly should we get the guillotines out?

      1. Foy

        Apparently the US just deliver weapons and hardware to Ukraine on the plane when VP Joe Biden visits (must have been a decent sized diplomatic bag)… copy of the letter detailing some counter mortar radar equipment, the serial number…and a picture of said equipment with serial number fallen into the Novoryssian Federalists’ hands after it got left on the battlefield unused. There goes $118K of the IMF loan. Maybe they’ll have more success with UAE routed hardware…

        [Edit: oops didn’t mean to post under your post EJ]

      2. NoFreeWill

        “When exactly should we get the guillotines out?”

        We should have them out already. The 2nd Amendment is woefully underused for the “watering tree of liberty with blood of banksters and corrupt politicians” purpose that it was intended for.

        1. James Levy

          Not letting that pass. The 2nd Amendment was there for a well-regulated militia to defend the Republic which in 1787 had no standing army. The Founders did not put it in the Bill of Rights as a license for the plebs to come kill them (who else?). The militia was mobilized to stamp out the Whiskey Rebellion, not reinforce it. Please don’t impose ex post facto reasoning on an 18th century measure dreamed up and implemented by the property owning class of its time.

          1. different clue

            My reading is that the 2nd Ammendment was put in there at the insistence of a couple of pleb-heavy states (Pennsylvania being one and I forget the other) who would have refused to ratify a constitution without such an Ammendment in there. The part about “well regulated militia” was put in there to try and restrain the reach and power of “plebs in arms”. Quite a bit of the Constitution was about restraining the plebs, I believe.

    2. Santi

      I watched recently “What preceded the civil war” an interview Andre Vltchek did to Sergei Kirichuk. When asked “Could you describe me the role the West played here at Ukraine?” he describes the beginning of the process as something really similar, if not the same, as what has been going on in Greece, Portugal and Spain: think tanks, austerity, cuts and unemployment. They way he is describing the situation it looks like the “pro-Russia” faction in Ukraine is a middle class rebellion preferring the Russian poverty to the IMF wealth. I don’t know much about Ukraine because we have our own fight here in the South of Europe, but now that I’m looking for jobs abroad and after being offered a possibility of a job in Ukraine I decided to research a bit, and what I’m finding is really scary…

      1. diptherio

        It’s utterly ridiculous that the Guardian refers to events in Ukraine as a “near civil war.” That’s a bit like saying we had a “near financial crisis” in 2008. I wonder how much civil warring has to happen before the Guardian thinks it qualifies?

    3. Tom

      Remember, the US is the empire of chaos- To weak to impose its will on everybody but strong enough tp prevent any settlement. The new Minsk II agreement could be the first step to peace.Russia got what it wanted: a promise for autonomy of the separatists wich would preclude any expansion of NATO. Now is the time to pressure Ukraine. The US and Britain are doing the opposite. So why does not Merkel do more against the US? What a question. Germany is not really souveriegn. There are more than 40 000 american troops in the country and all internal communication is listened to. FBI, CIA and DIA agents move in Germany at will. This is not an exaggeration. Time and again there are scandals about that. Moscow and Putin are well aware of that and understand that a peace settlement only involving Europe is not really possible. Their hope is that Germany will finally stand up to the US. That´s why the french involvement is vitally important as France is more sovereign.

    4. 6th-generation Texan

      Great question: why indeed treat the Greeks like crap and then pour gazillions into a bottomless shithole like the Ukraine?

      No amount of $$$, weapons, training, or anything else is *ever* going to make the slightest bit of difference as far as turning the Ukrainian army into anything close to an effective fighting force — it’s even far more hopeless than that other sterling US unicorn project, making an effective fighting force out of the Iraqi army.

      To get some grasp of just how ludicrous and farcical even the concept of a “Ukrainian Army” is, read the analysis of an insider on the ground there last summer — when said “army” was infinitely better than it is today (or ever will be again in our lifetimes):

      These are the clowns that US/NATO tries to pretend will be able to stand up to the Russian Army ??! Whoever is in charge of Western policy in this debacle is so far out of touch with reality that “insane” doesn’t begin to describe their mental impairment. God help us all with these kinds of morons playing with matches in a nuclear powder room….

      1. Seamus Padraig

        They’re not as crazy as you think, 6GT. So far, Washington has achieved at least one important strategic goal: they’ve begun the process of driving a wedge between Russia and Europe, putting an abrupt halt to all that talk of a Beijing-Berlin ‘new silk road’ that was going around before the coup in Kiev. They had to stop that at all costs. Otherwise, they were going to gradually lose control of Europe.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          The US may lose Europe in any case if, or very likely when, the currency union falls apart unless its underlying fatal flaws are successfully addressed soon. As for Russia’s turn to the east and south, the downsides for the US of that may be greater than had Putin’s objective of a close relation with the European Union been achieved. In the latter case, assuming somehow we can get some political leadership savvy enough to finally drive stakes through the hearts of the neocons and relegate them once and for all to the ash heap of history and the EU and ECU get their acts together, we’d all be inside the same tent pissing out, as LBJ used to say. In that case Putin and his successors would have even more to lose by militarily threatening their former fellow socialist republic colleagues and Warsaw Pact colonies than they do now. But that’s off the table unless and until the US pulls its head out from where the sun never shines.

        2. 6th-generation Texan

          Seamus, you are correct insofar as the current catastrophe in the Ukraine is going to force Europe to eventually — and finally — choose between continuing to be Amerika’s battered bitch or a part of the growing new Eurasian economic union. Practically all of the economic and geopolitical facts on the ground make the decision an obvious no-brainer: if its elites truly had Europe’s best interests in mind, they’d ditch the bankrupt (in every sense of the word — economically, morally, etc) US empire and join the China/Russia axis in a nanosecond.

          This is the American Deep State’s worst nightmare, and the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is overwhelming evidence of just how corrupt and compromised the European “elite leadership” truly is.
          The march of history cannot be stopped, however — merely delayed. And given the rapidly declining economic situation in the US vs the growing economic power of the BRICS et al, that pace should be picking up quite a bit soon….

          1. James Levy

            I’m constantly amazed at how the balance of power game which Europe played for so long has completely broken down. By the rules of the game you jump in with the threatened party so that no one player gets so strong as to end the game and grab all the marbles. It worked from Charles V to Hitler. But after WWII what you got was “band-wagoning”–let’s all jump on the American hegemonic bandwagon. And for some reason I can’t really fathom, the European elite seem incapable of jumping off. Perhaps they are all on the CIA payroll. Perhaps it’s the greatest example of “cognitive capture” in history. Perhaps their own fall from imperial glory has left the elite so full of self-loathing they can’t bring themselves to exert any backbone. Whatever it is, Europe can’t lead, can’t cooperate, and can only bicker and knuckle under. It’s really pathetic.

            1. 6th-generation Texan

              Through all those centuries, it was almost always that “nation of shopkeepers” that was behind the balance of power game in Europe. The weapon of choice was money, which was used to finance/bribe the various coalitions cobbled together to reduce any aspiring hegemon: first Spain, then France, then Germany. Small armies were committed at times (Blenheim, the Iberian Peninsula), but it wasn’t until 1914 that Britain first committed a major army to the Continent. The resulting bloodbath, especially at the Somme (60,000 men shot down on 1 July 1916 alone, 20,000 of them dead — with millions more British and Empire soldiers to follow) was the beginning of the end of Great Britain as a world empire; WW II merely finished the job.

              Huge amounts of blood and treasure were spent from 1866-1945 by first Austria, then France, then the Entente, and finally the Allies, to keep Germany from dominating Europe. And yet here we are, a century and a half later, with all of the European empires long-since destroyed as a result of those futile efforts — and what do we have? A continental Europe ruled over by the hegemon, Germany (albeit on behalf of the Amerikan Empire).

              As I noted above, the march of history cannot be stopped, merely delayed — and this is a prime example. What a tragic waste of lives and resources, all squandered in a vain attempt to prevent the inevitable (and yes, “inevitable” is indeed the word that comes to mind when comparing the population and economic growth of Germany in the late 19th/early 20th centuries compared to the rest of Europe).

    5. Aussie F

      It’s important to point out that nobody really cares about deficits, ELA, structural adjustment, blah, blah, blah.
      The sole purpose of the programme is to attack the working class, privatize everything, de-criminalise elite fraud, and transfer income from public institutions into private hands.
      If neo-liberal dogma can be deployed as ideological cover for the class war, that’s fine.

      If necessary another rationale can be fabricated wholesale: security, regional stability, failed states, Islamic terrorism, narco-traffickers, etc. If it involves massive deficits, wholesale borrowing and a fiscal debacle, who cares, just so long as the wage slaves pick up the bill.

      Doctrine is a highly flexible instrument, and intellectuals are a well disciplined lot, though how they keep a straight face with all this stuff is beyond me.

      1. Andrea1

        Absolutely. +++

        The nitty-gritty is, there are TWO wars going on in Europe (geographical Europe) right now and Ilargi is 200% correct in pointing that out.

        So what about the discourse of the EU concerning Peace on the Continent, Never Again, etc.?

        —Against Greece. Suckered in to be destroyed is how I’d put it. Greece is the hyper-southern country, its stats, characteristics, culture, organisation in many ways resembles non-resource-rich ME countries, and countries of the Mahgreb (North Africa.) As it is also small, in population, in GDP, in territory (though there it has some advantages) in influence, and torn by bad old history (Colonels! for ex..) it is easy prey.

        —- Against Ukraine, which is facing total desctruction, as in the grip of an encouraged, provoked, civil war, and/or a proxy war, between Russia and the US with the EU as a semi-reluctant and confused US partner.

      2. hunkerdown

        They keep a straight face through the belief in the noble lie, and that further it is their special place in the order to keep their inferiors in line by any means necessary, i.e. authoritarianism, while not being subject to quite the same forces themselves, i.e. privilege. The creative class’s betters have graciously allowed them to help out as stagehands, in the hope that someday they just might be on stage if they do, and the fear that they might be reduced to spectators amoing the smelly audience if they don’t.

    6. craazyboy

      Memo: To craazyman
      Subject: 10 Bagger

      I have to say I’m pretty excited about this investment idea that popped into my head while I was sleeping last night. They say you are most creative and productive when you are relaxed, so I think this investment idea should be a good one.

      I read a little while ago the IMF may lend (like they’ll ever get it back – hahahaha) $40 Billion dollars to the fine government of Urkaine. The money can be used to buy defensive weapons!

      First of all, I didn’t know the IMF funded arms dealers, but you have to learn lots of stuff to be a good investor, so this is all part of doing your homework. The next thing is to figure out what “defensive” weapon means. I was drawing a blank, but then it hit me (figurativly speaking). Tasers!!!


      Think of a big piece of $40 Billion going to TASR!!!!!!!!

      It’s going thru the roof!

      10 bagger. At least!

      This is the best idea I’ve had since selling all stocks in 2007!

    7. DJG

      Thanks for posting. For me, the only way of understanding (using the verb loosely) the Ukraine situation as that somehow the corrupt elites of Europe and the USA wanted Europe to have its very own Iraq, where all of that money that could be spent on social programs can be blown up or put on pallets and lost. And the question about why Greece gets the shaft while the ultra-corrupt Ukrainian goverment is portrayed as Washington Crossing the Delaware should be asked over and over.

    8. Eureka Springs

      Interesting call for elections. Clearly elections don’t matter when so few are willing to admit what now leads Kiev is a coup government. Under what borders are you suggesting elections be held? Surely you don’t think at this point eastern Ukraine of olde should participate in elections which acknowledge old Ukraine is in any way legitimate?

      I am always amazed at the members listed on the IMF web page. The Brics alone should have shunned it long long ago. If Syriza is considering so much as a seat at the table with IMF in any room…. then, like the coup Ukrainian Government is to its people, Syriza is a direct threat to every Greek citizen.

      The IMF is an act of war in and of itself. Manufacturing and legitimizing coups whilst feeding the banksters, oligarchs, weapons and soldier industry. Looking at the debt/loan numbers in the post remember that it is only the western part of the Ukrainian populace who will pay for it… which makes it far worse. You don’t think Soros, Monsanto and their ilk are going to pay down that debt once they have taken it all for a pittance.

    9. tgs

      I must say that in my 62 years I have never seen the kind of coordinated lying belligerence that I am seeing now coming out of ‘the West’. It is completely over the top.

      And just in the past couple of days Poroshenko has claimed that Kiev will retake Crimea. And the Ukie foreign minister announced on Canadian television that Kiev is ready for ‘total war’ against Russia; that they are not afraid to take on a nuclear power. Baltic countries already struggling economically reinstating conscription in preparation for a Russian invasion; UK troops in Ukraine as advisors.

      It is as if the ‘west’ has gone completely mad.

      1. JEHR

        Well, we have a “mad” Prime Minister who is adding his own toxic sludge to the international mix by agreeing to send financial aid, radar satellite images, non-lethal aid with the possibility of lethal aid in the future to the Ukraine. He does all this business in order to get votes in the next election! He insists that the Canadians all want what he wants; he never allows decent parliamentary discussion about his decisions; and he displays for all the world to see his paucity of knowledge about international history. Oh, woe, woe woe! See:

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I believe much of the Western politicians have recognized austerity was a terrible idea but they can’t undo their policies, so they are trying military spending as a solution. After all, Virginia’s wealth in recent years is largely due to post 9/11 spending. At some level, they know this, and politicians want to prime t he pump by scaring voters.

        Voters don’t want military spending, and the West’s outrage has backfired leading to a stronger SCO, BRICS, virulent anti-American South America, and deeply unpopular governments. The politicians think t hey need a win. Even last November, the GOP did terribly compared to other years. Politicians know this.

        1. JEHR

          TNG, that idea is something I had not thought of: spend on the military and make the rest of the public service “austere.” That seems to be what we have.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            My view is they largely understand austerity has been implemented. Those GOP governors aren’t cutting budgets because they want to. They are cutting them because the revenues aren’t there. The Laffer Curve promises more revenue, and politicos really buy that garbage or don’t grasp Laffer’s work really only applies to use taxes and fees and for the short term.

            Here is what they won’t ever do: admit t hey were wrong. The only way to bring spending in their minds to a local area is defense. They will behind soldiers when voters ask about spending. Especially for Team Blue, many of their supporters believe the fault lies with critics not Team Blue. If Team Blue acknowledges bad policy decisions, they risk not being objects of worship. For example, Obama worked like a maniac to keep troops in Iraq beyond the dates in the 2007 SOFA and to approve Keystone. Many of his voters assumed u ever was liberal and opposed c further occupation and keystone. Obama could never subtlety change their views and then had to trumpet “ending” the war in Iraq and vetoing keystone because he can’t admit he had been wrong. The cultists are his strongest supporters.

            It’s what Dubya did.

    10. RBHoughton

      Well, I am going to say what’s on my mind.

      The Ukraine mess is not about right and wrong or good and bad. Its simply the western economic model imperatively needs constant growth and Ukraine is unable to defend its resources from us. That’s why we have pulled out all the stops and told EU / IMF to do the necesssary.

      It has also increased the money flow to our war economy with Ukraine’s neighbors willing to spend more on arms and ammunition. With an unstable globe and zero-hours contracts we can revive the economy without increasing real employment or production – the holy grail of capitalism.

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