To Save the System, the EU Invests in War!
The European Union is that institution where, if a member state needs to borrow money, it must submit to intrusive inspections, implement “structural reforms”, cut pensions, health services etc., and forget fiscal sovereignty. But if you want money to wage a war, you get as much as you want, with no control over how it’s spent, whether you’re a member or not — provided it serves the EU’s geopolitical objectives.
That is the lesson of twelve months of war in Ukraine; over that period, EU institutions (not counting single member states) have given the Kiev regime over €35 billion, a good chunk of which has gone into the pockets of government and military officials, as seen in the current scandals. In addition to what we reported last week, the Ukrainian Parliament is planning to remove eight (!) more ministers, according to the RBK Ukraina national press agency.
It is an open secret that Ukraine is among the most corrupt countries in the world. Former Polish Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Radosław Sikorski has even suggested that this is the reason why Ukraine was never able to achieve economic prosperity, despite having a head start. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sikorski said, Ukraine had a tremendous advantage with “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt, and the most fertile land in the world”. But well before Russia launched its special military operation on Feb. 24, 2022, Kiev “had a GDP four times smaller than Poland”.
Brussels seems to have no problem with that. It has now institutionalized its aid to Kiev with what Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called a “financial Ramstein”. This is an upgrading of the Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine, whose steering committee met Jan. 27 to discuss how to regularize financial inflow to Kiev with monthly checks to keep government operations running. According to Shmyhal, who opened the meeting, the main tasks of the platform are to provide predictable, rhythmic budget support in 2023, planning and ensuring the beginning of Ukraine’s “recovery”, restoration of damaged housing, critical and social infrastructure, as well as coordination of financial instruments to support the economy and the private sector (war risk insurance for potential investors, public-private partnership, assistance in financing projects to support small businesses that provide a large number of jobs).
The bitter irony of this is that the EU and its member states, along with the U.S. and the U.K., give money and weapons with one hand to prolong the war and the destruction and, with the other, they give money (for now only promises) to “rebuild”. In both cases, the money comes back to the “donors”, in the form of orders to the military industry or to vulture funds and large corporations.
The “donors” do not even hide that fact. After all, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told her audience in Davos that financing the Ukrainian war machine would give “a huge boost to the global economy”. Volodymyr Zelensky himself, on Jan. 23, invited “American business” to “become the locomotive that will once again push forward global economic growth.” Lest you thought he was talking about the brick and mortar kind of investment, he specified: “We have already managed to attract attention and have cooperation with such giants of the international financial and investment world as BlackRock, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.” Thus, the hundreds of billions being sent to Ukraine in the form of aid and military equipment will be carefully controlled by Wall Street oligarchs…
According to Zelensky, everything is possible in Ukraine: “Everyone can become a big business by working with Ukraine, in all sectors: from weapons and defense to construction, from communication to agriculture, from transport to IT, from banks to medicine.”