I wish the different factions and forces well in the Ukraine. They need to settle down after the violence on both sides, to working through democratic and peaceful means of settling their disputes. That is not something the UK can or should try to do for them.
I hear they now want loans and grants from the IMF and EU to make up for the frozen Russian loan which they have disrupted by their recent change of government. We should be careful before allowing any of our money to go to the Ukraine. We have just witnessed scenes where the people of Ukraine have been demolishing street furniture, pulling up paving and parading in paramilitary uniforms instead of peacefully going about their business. Some say they had to do that, but before we advance any money we should seek sensible reassurance that in future the people of Ukraine will take care of their collective property. Loans require a government to be in place which is properly elected, peace loving, and in charge of the country. Any such government needs an economic plan which makes sense, and an ability to control its debt and deficits.
We should also ask what collateral there is for any loans they seek. How will any new Ukrainian government go about boosting the economy, as Ukraine’s main economic problem is too little output and low incomes. Will their policy be more successful than the last? Will it be continued by whoever wins the next election?
How will the Ukraine sort out its energy dependence on Russia? Will this entail higher gas prices, and what will that do for an already weak economy?
My constituents will want evidence that lending money to the Ukraine would help them and that we will get it back, before the IMF sends anything on our behalf. I sought assurances from Mr Hague on this yesterday in the Commons. He did confirm that the lending would not be without conditions.