Hedge funds take over the government of Ukraine

This article is a translation of "Hedge funds nemen regering Oekraïne over"

The recent parliamentary elections in Ukraine, from which the Russian speaking population in large part kept aloof, has been crowned by the formation of a new Yatsenyuk government. That the Russians did not vote can be explained from the fact that those in power in Kiev are waging war against their own population in the east. But the Ukrainian-speaking voters may also have been surprised to find that key positions in the government have been entrusted to an American, a Georgian and a Lithuanian. 

Not only they, but the foreign fighters battling the Russian insurrection in the east, too, will get Ukrainian citizenship. December 5 a new ceasefire will come into force, because Ukraine is broke. There is however another reason to contain the conflict with Moscow and that concerns the interests of the hedge funds to which the financial and economic positions in the new government have been entrusted. 

The new minister of finance, the American, Natalie Jaresko, in the mid-nineties was the head of the economic section of the US embassy in Kiev, and meanwhile has become a partner of Horizon Capital, an investment company in Kiev. Among her colleagues is Jeffrey Neal, formerly of Merrill Lynch. Horizon invests in banks and credit card activities in Russia and Belarus; it has an agricultural branch which manages 11 000 hectares of agricultural land because Ukraine has also been forced to make the famous ‘black earth’ available to foreign investors. The picture below is from one if Horizon’s investment funds. 

The Lithianian, Aivaras Abromavicius, will work with Jaresko as minister of economic affairs. He is a partner in East Capital, another investment company with a billions-sized portfolio. He too has been hurriedly registered as an Ukrainian; because his wife is Ukrainian, he already operate from Kiev for some time. East is even bigger than Horizon but it too has vast interests in Russia.

The economic logic of a continuing confrontation with Moscow is being undermined by these appointments; capital in other words trumps national antagonisms.

Finally, the Georgian, Aleksandr Kvitashvili, will be health secretary, a post he already occupied in his home country from 2009 to 2012. In Georgia he privatised

health care and handed it to the large medical and pharmaceutical concerns. Now it is Ukraine’s turn.

President Poroshenko congratulated Ukraine with this ‘pro-European’ government, but this team has less to do with Europe than with the power of the financial world.

From 1991 the country was being plundered by a criminal group of oligarchs, from 2004 a fight erupted between oligarchs in the west of the country and those in the east, and in 2013 they succeeded to incite the population which had risen against this fire-sale, to join their fight along linguistic lines.

Now the country is broke, torn by war, and the population is being surrendered to the international financial world.

Kees van der Pijl

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