Second in a series looking at the 5 key points from an article in foreign-language media.
Several articles recently referenced Ukraine’s First Deputy Economic Minister, German lawyer Alexander Borovik given Ukrainian citizenship so he could take up post, with his statement that Russia should pay Ukraine $350 billion for damage caused to Donbass.
1. The ‘blame Russia for all’ culture takes on an absurd new twist, as Ukraine blame, try to claim money – for damage mostly caused by the Ukrainian military. The main damage in Donbass – to Lugansk, Donetsk, caused by shelling of those cities by the Ukrainian military, as part of the so-called ‘ATO’ (‘anti-terror operation’)
2. Ridiculous statements still keep coming out of Ukraine – remember then new defence minister Valeriy Heletey promising to retake Crimea, ‘hold a victory parade in Sevastopol’ upon his appointment in July last year?
3. The figure, arrived at by guesswork rather than algorithm, nevertheless starts to give a real idea just how much damage has been caused to Donbass – a world away from the paltry 500 million Euros offered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last summer.
4. Ukraine wants to retake Donbass, but even if it could, clearly has no money to repair the damage there, as recent, desperate attempts to re-structure $23 billion of a debt fast rising to $100 billion. There is also Ukraine deflecting attention from the $3 billion it owes Russia, which Russia has recently refused to restructure.
5. Political careers in Ukraine are short. Just a few days after his Russia repayment remarks, Borovik had a disagreement with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and left his position.