World View: US, IMF, EU Facing Bailout Requests from Ukraine, Greece
- Russia says Ukraine chaos is a 'real threat' to its interests
- Ukraine says that it needs a $35 billion bailout
- Bitter dispute with troika over Greece's bailout needs
Russia says Ukraine chaos is a 'real threat' to its interests
Government has essentially disappeared in Kiev, the capital of
Ukraine, with such functions as are available being performed by
activists who participated in the overthrow of president Viktor
Yanukovych, with the support of the parliament. These activists
mostly represent ethnic Ukrainians and are mostly pro-European and
often bitterly anti-Russian, blaming Russia and Ukraine's ethnic
Russians for Yanukovych's brutal violence that killed dozens of young
activists. The activists have issued an arrest warrant for
Yanukovych, accusing him of "mass killings" of civilians.
There are reports that the parliament is considering a law that would
remove Russian as one of Ukraine's official languages, and some even
want to go so far as to remove citizenship status from ethnic Russians
in Ukraine. This has sparked anti-Ukraine nationalism in Russia,
where there are discussions of granting citizenship to ethnic Russians
On Monday, Russia's prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said
that what is going on is a "real threat" to Russia:
We do not understand what is going on there, there is
a real threat to our interests and to the lives and health of our
Strictly speaking, today there is no one there to communicate
with. The legitimacy of a number of power bodies is in huge doubt.
If you consider people in black masks strolling through Kiev with
Kalashnikov rifles a government, then it will be difficult for us
to work with such a government.
Some our foreign, western partners hold the opposite opinion, they
think these people to be legitimate power bodies. I do not know
what constitution and what laws they have been reading, but I hold
that it is some sort of conscience aberration when you call
something legitimate while in reality it is a result of an armed
Yanukovych has disappeared, and his whereabouts are unknown.
According to some reports, he was last spotted in Balaclava, a town
near Russia's Sevastopol naval base in Crimea on the Black Sea.
According to the reports, he drove off with a 3-car convoy late on
Saturday night and hasn't been seen since. Ria Novosti and Russia Today and Reuters
Ukraine says that it needs a $35 billion bailout
Ukraine is on the brink of default, following years of massive
government corruption and government overspending. In
December, Russia promised a bailout loan of $15 billion, but
that was before president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown.
There are some reports that Russia is considering sending
troops into Kiev, but almost everyone considers that highly
unlikely as Russia can make Ukraine suffer
financially without risking armed conflict. Ukraine's economy depends heavily on natural
gas from Russia's Gazprom. Ukraine owes Gazprom $3 billion,
and Russia could cut off all gas transmissions at any time.
Russia could also cut off Ukrainian exports to Russia.
Ukraine says that it's going to need a $35 billion bailout for 2014
and 2015. It seems likely that the U.S., the IMF, and the European
Union are going to be asked to provide that bailout. Bloomberg
Bitter dispute with troika over Greece's bailout needs
History is repeating itself as the "Troika" of organizations bailing
out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank
(ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- are in a bitter
dispute with Greece's government over the amount of bailout money
needed by Greece. Greece claims that it needs only 5.5 billion euros,
while the Troika has done an analysis and comes up with a figure close
to 20 billion euros.
One reason that Greece needs more money than anticipated is because
one of its austerity measures -- the reduction of lump sum pension
payments to civil servants -- has been declared unconstitutional by a
Greek court. The Troika will demand that Greece take other measures
to reduce its debts. The disagreement between Greece and the Troika
is mostly internal right now, but if it's not resolved quickly, it will become a very big, public fight. Greek Reporter and Kathimerini
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ukraine, Kiev, Viktor Yanukovych,
Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, Balaclava, Crimea, Sevastopol,
Troika, European Commission, European Central Bank,
International Monetary Fund, Greece
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