Ukraine Refuses to Pay $6.6 Billion Owed to China; Losing the War

Posted on by Eric Zuesse.

China paid Ukraine $3B two years ago for grain still not delivered, now demands refund. Another $3.6B that’s owed to China, will probably also default.

Eric Zuesse

Russia’s RIA Novosti News Agency reported, on January 17th, that China is demanding refund of $1.5 billion in cash and of an additional $1.5 billion in Chinese goods that were paid in advance by China (in 2013), for a 2012 Chinese order of grain from Ukraine, which goods still have not been supplied to China.

According to RIAN, “State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine (STATE FOOD) supplied grain in 2013, elsewhere, but not to China. The new Kiev authorities had an opportunity to fix the short-sighted actions ‘of the [previous] Yanukovych regime,’ and to present a positive economic image to the Chinese.” But it didn’t happen.

Furthermore: “Prior to the Presidency of Yanukovych [which started in 2010], China’s leadership had simply refused to do business with the pre-Yanukovych Administration’s Yulia Tymoshenko, and they planned to wait until Yanukovych became President. He then came, and since has been ousted, and yet still only $153 million of grain has been delivered.” (None of the $1.5B cash that China advanced to Ukraine to pay for growing and shipping grain has been returned to China, but only the $153M that had essentially been swapped: Chinese goods for Ukrainian grain.) This $153 million was approximately as much as the interest that would be due on China’s prepayment, and so Ukraine still owes China the full $3 billion ($1.5B in cash, + $1.5B that China supplied in goods).

The RIAN report goes on to quote Alex Luponosov, a Ukrainian authority on Ukraine’s banking system, who says, “Ukraine won’t be able to supply the grain to China, because we don’t have it.” The reason he gives is that “there is a big shortage of technicians: combiners, adjusters, mechanics, farm-machinery operators — all of them were taken by the army.” Those men are being required to fight in Ukraine’s ‘ATO’ or ‘Anti Terrorist Operation,’ that’s occurring in Ukraine’s former Donbass region (the far-eastern tip of Ukraine), the place where the residents don’t accept the new Ukrainian Government’s legitimacy, and they are therefore being called ‘Terrorists’ by this new Government, which is thus bombing them, supposedly in order to convince them that this new Government’s authority over them is legitimate (even though the residents there never participated in its selection, and have been cut off even from Ukraine’s social-security payments).

The Russian news report continues by quoting Luponosov again: “If the declaration of mobilization will take place in the planned figures, up to 100 thousand people in three stages, the sowing campaign cannot take place, either on the farms or at the grain traders.” As part of Ukraine’s military mobilization — the new phase of which which started on January 20 — military offices take first the rural male population of the country, and farm-production must therefore suffer.

Luponosov was quoted: “Now try to tell Parliament to amend the war-legislation so that these people won’t be taken from their villages. No one will deny the military. Parliament thus cannot do anything [to fulfill on Ukraine’s grain-contract with China].”

The RIAN report says that, “China is angry,” and it closes: “By the way, in addition to China’s $3B loan that’s to be repaid with grain [which cannot be supplied], Ukraine also received from China a $3.6 billion loan to pay for the gasification of coal, by Ukraine’s gas company, Naftogaz, which the Ukrainian Government has guaranteed up to 2.3 billion dollars. Information on the implementation of the coal-gasification project has not been made available, but there seems to be a high probability that this matter too will be decided in a court. If China decides to call in that loan, then the result will be the bankruptcy of either Naftogaz, or the Ukrainian Government.”

On January 9th, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, reassured the IMF, EU, and other investors of all funds that are being loaned to Ukraine, that Ukraine is doing everything possible to fulfill on its financial obligations to all investors:

“I would also like to note that the money that we get in the framework of international financial assistance, does not go to finance the state budget deficit, it does not go to the payment of pensions, it does not go to the payment of wages. All of this is happening in the first place, solely to perform our external obligations.” On 1 May 2014, the IMF (whose money comes from taxpayers in U.S. and the EU, not from the aristocrats whose investments the IMF protects and whom the IMF actually serves) had stated that Ukraine’s first obligation, without which the IMF would lend no more money, is to win the war against Donbass. Yatsenyuk, thus, is here reassuring the IMF, and other investors in Ukraine, that their money will not go to pay for anything but winning this war.

The IMF, and other lenders, require Ukraine to win this war, because, if the Ukrainian Government doesn’t win, then the natural gas and other assets that are in the ground in that region will not become available to be sold off by the Ukrainian Government in order to pay-off those investors; instead, the residents there (the people whom the Ukrainian Government is now trying to eliminate) will control those assets, as being assets of a separate state — one which has not borrowed from these investors. The IMF wants the assets that are in the ground, not the people who are living on it. That is why it demands victory (elimination of the people in Donbass) — or else Ukraine will promptly go bankrupt. (And, perhaps, so too will some of those investors.)

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Ukraine’s Government Is Losing Its War. Here Is Why:

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Eric Zuesse.

Eric Zuesse

On January 27th, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense headlined “Militants Continue to Suffer Losses,” and reported that four helicopters, and other weapons of the “militants,” were destroyed in battle, but no evidence was given to support the assertion.

Just two days prior, the (also pro-Government) Kiev Post had, in fact, bannered “Ukraine Hides Devastating Losses as Russia-Backed Fighters Surge Forward,” and reported “Ukraine’s worst-kept secret — that the Ukrainian army is drastically understating its casualties.” After detailing, there, what seems to be outrageous unconcern by the Government, for the welfare of troops it’s sending into battle (even by jamming battlefield-injured soldiers into regular civilian hospitals, which aren’t equipped to handle their injuries), this report ends with a doctor saying, “It’s bad everywhere. Yes, the soldiers are still standing at their positions ready to fight. But we don’t see any help coming for them.”

The Ukrainian news agency RIAN headlined on January 26th, “Mobilization in Dnipropetrovsk Almost Drowned,” and reported, “In Dnipropetrovsk region [which is run by the U.S. White House’s friend, the Ukrainian-Swiss-Israeli billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky, whose longstanding personal mercenary army has, alone, more than 5,000 fighters], thousands of men are hiding from the draft. Enforcement officers recognize that accomplishing their task will be very difficult.” More than 2,000 people there who were drafted “did not show up, they evaporated.”

Consequently, the Government is dragooning-in, or “ambushing” (as the article says), virtually anyone who seeks help from the Government, “mobilizing the unemployed” and other “desperate” people. “Military enlistment offices complain” that some draftees are too sick to be able to fight at all.

Also on January 26th, the Fort Russ blog bannered, “Azov Commander Freaks Out, Calls the War ‘Lost’. Blames Everybody,” and reported that, “Ukrainian politicians and generals ‘already lost the war,’ and ‘the West did not help.’ That’s the core of the statement by Azov punitive [meaning: to ‘punish’ the residents in the anti-Government region, for their not supporting the Government] battalion commander’s, and currently also Rada [Parliament] Deputy’s, Andrey Biletsky, in his ‘Address to the Nation.’” According to Biletsky, after the fictitious “thousands of supposedly killed enemies and burned out tanks, the wake-up can be very painful,” because of disappointment felt from the Government’s lies.

RIAN news headlined on January 27th, “The Situation at the Front and Riots Against the Mobilization,” and Andrew Vajra, of the news-site “Alternative,” quoted Biletsky there, as saying, “We were not prepared for the current confrontation.”

Whereas Ukrainian conscript soldiers are not eager to risk their lives in order to impose the current Ukrainian Government (which had resulted from Obama’s coup in Ukraine in February 2014), upon the residents in Ukraine’s Donbass region, which had voted 90% for the man whom Obama overthrew, the residents who still survive there are very eager not to allow this new regime to kill them; and, so, the motivation on the part of the people whom Obama’s forces are trying to kill, is vastly higher than is the motivation on the part of conscript troops, from the rest of Ukraine, to kill them. The only troops who are that eager to kill them are supporters of Ukraine’s two nazi (or racist-fascist) parties, the “Freedom” (renamed by the CIA from their former “Social Nationalist”) and the Right Sector, Parties. Those parties have always gotten only a small percentage of the popular vote in Ukraine, though Obama’s people have placed them into power. Once in power, they passed laws to lock-in that power.

The Ukrainian Government’s problem is that there just aren’t enough nazis, and there’s also not enough money, to do the amounts of killing that need to be done in order to enable Obama’s Ukrainian regime to retain the land in Donbass while eliminating the people there. The 90% of those people who had voted for the man (Viktor Yanukovych) whom Obama overthrew are far more numerous, and far more motivated, than are the vast majority of Ukraine’s soldiers.

America’s and Ukraine’s oligarchs cannot come up with the money to finish the job, but Obama’s big financial backer George Soros is now globetrotting in order to convince taxpayers throughout the West to provide the money to finish it, and the amount he’s coming up with as being necessary for the job is between twenty and fifty billion dollars. His entreaties appear to be falling upon deaf ears.

And that’s the real reason why Obama’s war in Ukraine is failing: there’s just not enough blood-lust for the task, either in Ukraine, or in “the West.”

There aren’t enough nazis, in either area. Obama had over-reached, when he overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. Either he’ll have to yield-up the land in Donbass, or else he’ll have to yield-up the anti-Russian Government that he has imposed upon Ukraine. It’s one or the other, and he’ll have to choose which.

Either outcome will be embarrassing for him. But perhaps it won’t be quite as embarrassing for him as was his predecessor’s embarrassment regarding the Iraq War. (Of course, Republicans would be in their glory then, by saying “Obama lost Ukraine,” even though it was actually Obama who had seized Ukraine, to begin with — and Republicans would never criticize a President for doing a thing like that: it’s the sort of thing that Republicans are expected to do.)

On the other hand, it might turn out to be even more embarrassing than that for Obama, if he should happen to decide to go all the way here, and to push on for a nuclear war against Russia.

As regards the Ukrainian Government itself, they were placed into power by Obama’s action of coup, followed by this Ukrainian Government’s actions removing the Donbass residents from their electorate; and, so, the current members of the Rada, and of the Ukrainian Administration, cannot blame Obama; they are instead blaming Vladimir Putin and Russia — the country that Obama (like George Soros and so many other American aristocrats) hates, and that not merely the people whom Obama placed into power in Ukraine hate. Thus, on Wednesday, January 28th, RIAN news headlined, “Full Text of the Appeal for Recognition of Russia as Aggressor,” and they reported:

“The Verkhovna Rada made ​​public the full text of Resolution number 1854 on appeal to the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly, and the national parliaments of the countries in the world, to recognize the Russian Federation as the aggressor state.”

Furthermore, German Economic News reported that this action by the Rada had been passed by “271 of 289 deputies present,” and that it could “have international legal consequences.” GEN’s report also said that Ukraine’s leaders claim they now “urgently need new loans” from the EU, because, otherwise, Ukraine’s existing loans will go into default. The reader-comments to that news-report at GEN’s website seem to be negative on that request, and to be far more inclined to view Ukraine’s Government as nazi than as Ukraine’s being the victim of Russia or any other country, and least of all as being a victim of the EU’s own taxpayers, who have already given plenty to the Ukrainian Government, and who would become the people bearing the burden of those new ‘loans,’ which would be going to the very back of Ukraine’s long line of creditors, if Ukraine goes bankrupt, as is widely expected soon to happen. In other words: there would seem to be little public support in Germany, for giving Ukraine yet more money. If the EU’s leaders do decide to comply with Ukraine’s urgent request, then the EU will have even less public support in Germany than it currently does. The EU is therefore likely to turn down the request, so as not to place even further into jeopardy the EU’s own continued existence.

And, obviously, unless Ukraine gets the further ‘loans’ to prosecute its war against the residents in Donbass, Ukraine won’t even possibly be able to win this war.

So, that’s the Ukrainian Government’s predicament, regarding this war.

 source »

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