George Soros Seeks to Bolster Ukranian Reforms
George Soros believes so firmly in the potential for widespread reform in Ukraine that he advocates for significant European investment and aid for the country. Even though Soros recognizes that there are plenty of other crises plaguing Europe at the moment, he would like to see Ukraine pushed to the forefront in order to support the incredible economic and political reforms being proposed by motivated citizens.
He sees serious potential in widespread reforms being attempted throughout Ukraine. Because Urania citizens are serious about reform and are very invested in the future of their own country, he argues that this situation should be treated differently from the crisis in Greece. Soros acknowledges that both Greece and Ukraine face an enormous bureaucracy and major challenges to democratic reforms. However, Ukraine has already shown plenty of promise in being able to break through the red tape of its former government to become more democratic and transparent in many aspects of government. One of the most pressing issues that Ukraine must address is the natural gas monopoly of the state gas company, Naftogaz. Helping Ukraine move to market-determined prices for natural gas will be a huge step forward in defeating its bureaucratic past.
According to Soros, the beauty of the reforms in Ukraine is that they stand to also influence the people of Russia. Given the geographic proximity of Ukraine and Russia, it would be hard to ignore a flourishing Ukraine with a completely open government. In this way, Russians might just demand similar reforms within their own country. This in and of itself is reason enough for Europe to rally behind the success of Ukraine. It may be one of the most long term and expedient ways to start toppling Putin’s regime. This would inevitably result in a stronger European Union and a new ally for the European Union.
George Soros – Forbes
Europe’s Ukrainian Lifeline
To characterize the type of spending that Ukraine requires of its European neighbors, Soros said it should be treated as a defense expenditure. Ukraine is not out of the woods when it comes to keeping Russian forces at bay. This is especially true in light of the pressures imposed on Ukraine under the Minsk II agreement of February 2015. Because this agreement was also signed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she has been holding Ukraine to the highest standard in maintaining the terms of the agreement so as to prevent it from completely breaking down. George Soros points out that Russia is not held to the same standard of accountability by the EU leaders. This has imposed a huge financial burden on Ukraine, which is slowing down the pace at which reforms can be realized. Ukraine should not be forced by leaders of the EU to continue to make concessions to separatists and Russian sympathizers. Although Russia is currently maintaining its cease-fire obligations under the agreement, there is plenty of anxiety to go around about when this will stop. A well-funded Ukraine would be in the best position to fight back against Russia if necessary.
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