Nicolai Petro dans The Guardian : pourquoi l’Ukraine a plus que jamais besoin de la Russie


[Avions Antonov]

Nicolai Petro, de l’Université de Rhodes Island, explique dans un article iconoclaste publié par le journal de centre gauche The Guardian, pourquoi l’Ukraine a plus que jamais besoin de l’Europe. Extraits:

“In January Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, congratulated the country on surviving its first winter without buying Russian gas. It had instead bought European gas which, as Poroshenko pointed out proudly, was 30% more expensive.

This sums up the core problem facing the Ukrainian economy. It is not corruption, a serious issue about which little can be done in the short term, but the ideologically driven choice to sever all ties with Russia, the country that has historically been its major trading partner and chief investor.

In little over a year, living standards in Ukarine have fallen by half, the value of the currency has slumped by more than two-thirds, and inflation has skyrocketed to 43%. Yet, even as the economy has collapsed, the government has insisted on economic policies that can only be termed suicidal.

By tearing up contracts with Russia in 2014, Ukraine’s defense and aviation industries lost 80% of their income. Once the pride of Kiev, airline manufacturer Antonov went bankrupt and rocket engine producer Yuzhmash is now working just one day a week.

By severing banking ties with Moscow, Kiev has denied itself investment and a vital economic lifeline – the remittances sent back home byn r Ukraine’s migrant workers. Up to 7 million Ukrainians have sought work in Russia, sending back $9bn in 2014 – 3 times the total foreign direct investment Ukraine got last year.

(…) Meanwhile, EU rules restrict Ukraine’s exports to Europ, which fell 23% in 2015 despite the preferential tariff regime that was in place for most of last year. For example, only 72 Ukrainian companies are allowed to export food of animal origin to the EU: 39 of the licences are for honey. While that may sound like a lot of honey, Ukraine exported its yearly quota for honey in the first six weeks of 2016. A similar story holds for other commodities.

Nor is it clear how Poroshenko plans to make Ukrainian agriculture globally competitive when, as his own agriculture minister points out, 4 out of 5 five state owned agricultural companies are bankrupt. It is also unclear who will pay for agricultural machinery, 80% of which is imported.

Such policies have led to a steady erosion of government popularity, with 70% of Ukrainians saying the country is on wrong track and 85% say they do not trust the prime minister. Poroshenko’s popularity is now lower than that of his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovich, on the eve of the Maidan rebellion that ousted him.

But while less than 2% describe the country as stable a new revolt does not seem imminent. So far, the regime has been able to provide explanations that deflect attention away from its own role in Ukraine’s economic demise.”

A lire dans The Guardian :




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