The following is our translation of an article from RIA Novosti, with comments and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos. This article was chosen especially for those badly informed Westerners who were infected by the euphoria over the US’s instigation and promotion of what was in fact a violent illegal overthrow of the legitimately and democratically elected Ukraine government in 2014, a time when colour revolutions and Arab Spring-like movements (of the kind that sparked the near-takeover of Syria by terrorists) were all the rage. Though this blessed event occurred under Obama, both sides of the aisle were equally enthralled by the prospect of Russia losing a trade partner. After all, if the US can make Russia a little poorer, then the US automatically becomes richer – so goes the twisted Washington reasoning of the people who gave the US an unpayable debt, staving off disaster by printing more unbacked dollars to pay for incessant wars that the US just never seems to win.
This article is mostly about the IMF, a US-controlled money-lending organization that has a slew of rules for its clients (victims) designed to keep the client indebted forever and impoverish its people while enriching wealthy Western corporations with sly schemes such as privatization of public services that by rights ought to be controlled by the officials elected by citizens to protect their interests and not by a foreign corporation with a keen eye for shareholder profits sucked out of the client country.
But the author also details the utter folly of former Ukrainian president Piotr Poroshenko’s anti-Russian policy of refusing to purchase natural gas directly from Russia.
...by refusing direct gas supplies from Russia, Ukraine continued to purchase our [Russian] fuel, but at exorbitant prices through European traders.
The author later mentions that the price of the gas to Ukrainian consumers rose to three times the price that they would have paid had they purchased directly fom Russia. And this is the most important result of the US-backed Maidan rioting that the US media hyped to you, just as it is currently hyping the Hong Kong violence that most Americans think is all China’s fault and will result in “freedom” and “democracy” but will, if it succeeds, only make Hong Kong poorer by destroying its ties to the second biggest economy in the world and bringing it under the aegis of the country that survives strictly on debt.
It finally happened: International Monetary Fund is losing customers
Dec 4, 2019
MOSCOW, Dec 4 - RIA Novosti, Alexander Lesnykh. Argentine president-elect Alberto Fernandez said he would not take the remaining 11 billion dollars from the IMF under the current loan program because "alcoholism is not treated with wine." At the beginning of November, the President of Moldova Dodon announced his intention to refuse to support the fund, and the Belarusian government limited the interaction only to technical consultations. And even the Minister of Finance of Ukraine promised to curtail cooperation with this international structure by 2023. RIA Novosti discusses why the IMF is no longer seen as a saviour of weak economies.
Tripping twice on the same rake
The new president of Argentina, Fernandez, is faced with an almost impossible task - to fix what his predecessor Mauricio Macri, who has collected loans from the IMF, has foisted on him, as a result of which the public debt has grown to $300 billion. For comparison: the country's GDP last year, according to the World Bank, amounted to 518 billion. [Actually, though, the US is in even worse shape, with a federal debt of $23 trillion, more than US GDP].
As a first step towards saving the national economy, Fernandez plans to abandon further IMF loans so as not to drive the country even deeper into debt bondage. “I need to solve a huge problem with debts; will I really ask for another 11 billion? I want to stop asking and be paid,” he said on Con Vos.
Argentina's financial difficulties sharply escalated in 2015, when President Macri, having come to power, tried to get out of the economic crisis with the help of "neoliberal reforms": create a free market, privatize enterprises and reduce the role of the state in the economy [these are all demands of the IMF on its clients]. Unable to cope with this on his own, he asked the IMF for $57 billion.
He was undeterred by the fact that Argentina had already suffered at the hands of the IMF at the end of the last century. In the 1990s, Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo launched a liberal reform progra, during which, in particular, exempted foreign investors from taxes.
Foreign businessmen rushed to Argentina, and the IMF issued loans to pay for old debts. But after neighbouring Brazil devalued its currency, investors chose to move there, leaving Argentina with nothing. The IMF said that saving the country could not be saved from default, and they refused the next tranche.
The IMF grants loans only in conjunction with recommendations for the restructuring of the economy of the debtor, which he is obliged to strictly follow [So they are not recommendations, they are orders from the boss man in Washington]. This was the main economic mistake by Macri.
Instead of helping national businesses and creating new jobs (as was the case in South Korea), the Argentine government pushed the Central Bank's key rate to 60 percent, depriving entrepreneurs of funding. At the same time, on the advice of the fund, social spending was cut, leading to a 15-fold increase in the cost of utility bills.
It all ended in a social disaster. The demographic situation has sharply worsened: the birth rate has fallen, but immigration has grown like an avalanche [thought the author does not mention this, IMF does recommend more immigration]. Moreover, due to a reduction in budgetary support for medicine, the country has experienced the largest measles outbreak since the turn of the century.
"61 cases of measles infection have already been officially registered because the government has morally reduced to refusing to vaccinate the population. All this is the result of following the plan of the International Monetary Fund at all costs. [my highlighting] We urgently need to rectify the situation," President Fernandez tweeted.
Economists knowingly compare Mauricio Macri with Petro Poroshenko. The ex-president of Ukraine went the same way.
The political commitment of some of Kiev’s economic decisions added fuel to the fire: by refusing direct gas supplies from Russia, Ukraine continued to purchase our [Russian] fuel, but at exorbitant prices through European traders. At the same time, the government had to release gas prices for the population at the request of the IMF.
"The IMF pointed out: the price of gas for the population should be a market price. Well then, provide salaries, a living wage, and jobs so that it meets the possibilities of market life. <...> Either we must obey the IMF or think about the interests of our people. I think the government should think about our people and proceed from their interests. Well, meanwhile the government is thinking about and fulfilling the "IMF Wish List," fumes Ukrainian parliament member Viktor Medvedchuk.
The effect of such measures would not be so devastating if Poroshenko had first ensured the rise of small and medium-sized enterprises - and, hence, the people’s income. But he simply inflated the prices for communal apartments, the purchasing power of citizens fell, and the country plunged into the abyss of the economic crisis.
Kiev understands that the results of further cooperation with the IMF will be disastrous, but so far they cannot get off this merry-go-round. At the end of November, the head of the Ministry of Finance, Oksana Markarova, said that the Ukrainian authorities intend to stop working with the fund in 2023, so that "we don’t have to wonder when we’ll receive a new tranche, and can provide for ourselves."
The problem is that for this purpose, Kiev plans before the end of the year to agree with the IMF on a new three-year lending program. One of the key conditions of the lender is the lifting of the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land, including to foreign investors.
At one time, Argentina also decided on a similar "land reform." As a result, foreigners bought 75 percent of the land, and almost all the local peasants were left without plots.
[Let’s see what Ukrainian rural citizens think about the IMF’s demand to allow sale of Ukrainian land to foreigners, as reported by AP News:
“If foreigners come, they will take away our only possibility to work,” Viktor Romaniuk, 52, said as he drove a combine harvesting the last of this year’s corn crop. “They will give us only a little money and crush small- and medium-sized business. I’m against the sale of land.” Let us remember: the Maidan coup was all about “freedom” and “democracy.” This is how it translated into reality.]
In Kiev, there is no doubt that it will not be possible to cope with peak payments on external debt in 2019-2020 if revenues from the transit of Russian gas fall from the budget. Therefore, the current head of the country's Ministry of Energy Alexey Orzhel in early December announced the need to change the leadership of Naftogaz [Ukrainian gas company].
[Before the US-instigated coup, Russia was allowing gas to transit through Ukraine to Europe and was paying handsome dividends for this service. Kiev not only did not pay on time for its own deliveries of gas but also illegally withheld some of the gas intended for European consumption. Consequently, Russia suspended all gas supplies to Ukraine and initiated a pipeline project – Nord Stream 2 – intended to bypass Ukraine. Ukraine sued and won in a Russophobic court but Russia did not restart the gas supply, considering Ukraine a deadbeat. Just today we read that Putin has decided to restart the gas supply to Ukraine. Gas volumes are to be prepaid. But now the work on Nord Stream 2, initially halted by Denmark, has restarted and is scheduled to start up in mid-2020, and another, southern, pipeline to Europe via Turkey, is expected to start operation at the end of 2019. This plus the just-now started pipeline to China, is a serious blow to Washington’s plan to block Russian dominance of the gas market to Europe and Asia.]
First of all, this concerns the current chairman of the board of the gas monopolist Andrei Kobolev [CEO of Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz], who failed in the tripartite negotiations on transit. Gazprom [Russian gas company] suggested that he return to direct deliveries at a 25 percent discount on the price Kiev is paying for the same gas now. But he refused. Now, President Vladimir Zelensky will have to personally discuss this issue with Vladimir Putin at the upcoming meeting in the Norman format.
Experts believe the IMF simply will not allow the dismissal of the head of Naftogaz. After all, this contradicts the plans of the fund - to ultimately ruin the country and sell it cheaply to Western investors. [The Ukrainians who conspired with the West must definitely be regretting their actions. It was a lesson for Bolivia and Hong Kong too, but God knows if they will learn from it]