Please do not send my constituents’ money to the Ukraine

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.

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75 Comments

  1. arschloch
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Eh they have already got the dosh indirectly from ourselves via the EIB! Last October the EIB lend €152 million over 25 years to extend the the existing metro line of Dnipropetrovsk. Looking at the gold plated Mobuto like presidential palace I doubt it will be repaid and the UK is the EIBs fourth biggest subscriber.

    • arschloch
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      If you really want to provoke WW3 just run a spur off the Nabucco pipeline and supply them with non Russian gas

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabucco_pipeline

      • Mark
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        The problem for Nabucco is securing an adequate supply of gas. It’s probably better to investigate domestic shale in the Donets Basin in the East, and also in the West of the country. Of course, they still have coal in Donets, and despite Chernobyl they also have substantial nuclear electricity generation.

        Their biggest problem is the collapse of the productive economy, illustrated by the collapse of their energy consumption, which has fallen from 270 mtoe in 1990 to just 125 mtoe in 2012. No-one wants a Zaporozhets any more than a Trabant.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Arschloch – Thank you for your erudite comments.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      There is an excellent article by Anders Aslund, former adviser to Ukraine, in the FT of 26 Feb. It makes clear the extent of corruption and the relatively simple steps Ukraine itself can take. Apparently Yanukovich has accumulated c US$ 12bn. That needs to be recouped before UK taxpayers hand over any money. Subsidies on energy of several % of GDP go to enriching cronies, that can also be cut immediately. A free trade deal for Ukraine with the EU would then be excellent news for both sides.

      As ever the answer isn’t aid, its sensible market based reforms and the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in the country in question.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “Mr Hague did confirm that the lending would not be without conditions.”

    Well that is not much of an assurance, perhaps the condition will be they have to sign a receipt for it. It is just another way for the government to push soft money towards the EU grand project, just as they did in Ireland, with the IMF and with the PIGIS loans. How are our profits, as promised by Osborne, coming along on these earlier soft loans, how much has been repaid?

    • lojolondon
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly – weasel words because he wants to be the guy that sends the most money and the soonest – the silly kind of race we always seem to get involved in whenever someone gets their hat out.
      Perhaps if they take the money from elsewhere else where it is patently not required – 500m from the EA would be probably as well spent in the Ukraine as on Mr Smith and his friends, or perhaps £6Bn out of the BBC budget will at least mean we get free and fair news reporting for the next year!

    • zorro
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      I know LL, we can suggest that Gideon gives the profits from our loans to the PIGIS to the Ukrainians! Can’t say fairer than that though I suspect that the Ukrainians will be playing with a 0% profit a la Gordon Brown, and folding fresh air into their wallets!

      zorro

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    not without conditions? like the conditions we impose on India who spend a lot of money on space programmes, nuclear weapons programmes, aircraft carriers?

    come on John you are saying the right things push them harder!

    thanks

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    This is not something which ought to be discussed on this blog.
    I should have thought that foreign policy needed to be discussed in parliament.
    Yours is a very trenchant point of view indeed and I am convinced by it. But it is not for us to decide.
    As parliament turns into a sort of irrelevant Parish Council or even worse a TV Spectacle (like the cabinet meetings yesterday in Aberdeen – hey there’s no outsmarting Mr Salmond is there!), questions like this get decided in secret. Whenever this happens, corruption comes in very quickly and wrong decisions are made by arrogant and out of touch people who love spending other people’s money.

    Reply We did discuss this yesterday in Parliament

    • ian wragg
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      And what was the conclusion John. Gideon wants to parade on the world stage brandishing his cheque book with my money. No doubt Murky will be giving CMD his instructions as to how much to donate. Tell me again John, when did we install a President.
      Is Parliament going to get a vote or will CMD tell us ….. because it’s the right thing to do…..
      Shysters the lot of you.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Clearly if government money is going there it should be backed by the collateral of their natural resources. I’m still not quite clear, though, why this should be done in preference to dredging rivers here?

    • zorro
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, whose interests are being served by the forwarding of these loans? This is getting a bit like Groundhog Day with rioting/civil conflict in strategic country after strategic country with countries being torn apart and then offered loans in return for ?? by the Western countries…..

      zorro

  6. lifelogic
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I read that Cameron wants to make a commitment in Conservative Party election manifesto he will not form second coalition government even if he falls short of Commons majority.

    Well clearly he won’t be in a position to anyway and the Libdems (in the unlikely event they are) will clearly go with Labour. He might as well save his time and effort. The chance of a Tory overall majority, with the voting system still against them is virtually nil, as the betting odds show.

    Even a UKIP deal will do very little now. Unless Cameron can do a remarkable U-turn on almost all his pro EU, fake green, high tax and spend agenda and actually get people to believe him.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      There will never be a majority Tory government again.

      • arschloch
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        There would be if our Scottish cousins disappeared from Westminster and the Conservative Party was purged of the likes of Dave

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Jennifer A: That’s the best post I have ever read.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        That seems very likely. Cameron threw the last sitting duck election with his EU ratting, fake greenery, “modernisation” and Clegg’s equal TV billing. He went on to rat on IHT and several other promises made. He introduced 299+ tax increases, more EU, more regulation, more government, expensive silly energy, he even appointed Lord Patten, Heseltine, John Gummer, David Laws, Maria Millar, Ed Davey, C Huhne, Ken Clarke and endless others of these beliefs. He say one thing and does the opposite, he simply has zero credibility and there is alas no one else who can take over now.

        Why would anyone vote for him (or them) ever again?

        He will surely bury the party in the John Major fashion for three + terms at least.

        Now in the dying days the best he can come up with is changing the name of National Insurance! He can now promise anything he likes for after the election it has no relevance at all.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Its not just the ‘voting system’. It is the fact that Cameron and the rest of his party did not look at a map of the UK and say to themselves, “Where is a strongest support ?” If they did, they would not have gone out of their way to upset their core vote – England !

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/

      If you take away Scotland, Ulster and Wales, you have a very clear majority in England. The Conservatives do not deserve to be in power as they have done nothing to earn it, NOTHING !

      • Richard
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Mark B,

        It does seem strange that the top echelons of the Conservative Party do not support England and are very keen to keep the UK together, despite these positions not being electorally beneficial to them.

        This can be explained by the fact that a separate England, or even the rUK left after Scotland’s departure, is more likely to vote to leave the EU and this is not what they wish to see under ANY circumstances.

      • peter davies
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        A cursory glance of the map show the whole of England in blue apart from some small red dots in city centre connurbations.

        This shows the Tory vote is nowhere in these places

      • uanime5
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:13 am | Permalink

        The Conservatives have a majority in the east Midlands and the South of England; but in the north, west Midlands, and London there’s more support for Labour. So the Conservatives aren’t popular everywhere in England.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Indeed they have done virtually nothing for England. their core vote. but rat and cheat on it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          and overtax it in 299+ new ways and cover it in pointless expensive wind farms.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      The BBC’s refusal – until forced yesterday and today – to give any coverage to the Daily Mail’s exposure of alleged links of 3 senior Labour MPs to the Peodophile Information Exchange shows also that Cameron faces a massively powerful opponent in the state-funded broadcaster. Imagine if it was 3 Conservative MPs!

  7. Andyvan
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Do you really wish all the factions in the Ukraine well Mr Redwood? How about the weak and gullible that took EU and US money to go out and protest? Or the “Right Sector” that has it’s roots with the people that fought for Adolf Hitler and appear ready to start a war against Russia and the EU to get power? Maybe you sympathize withe the undeniably corrupt but actually democratically elected ex-government? All the media reports I have seen have failed to mention any of the power politics and tensions that exist in the Ukraine or that it is an area of vital interest to Russia but little interest to us. Yet we are interfering and sending support to groups we know virtually nothing about. This is turning out to be another disaster created by US and EU interference and has the potential to become a very dangerous shooting war. We should stay out of it and mind our own business – good advice for any government.

  8. stred
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    It is good to read that some politicians have noticed that most of the ‘peaceful’ citizens, who were ‘murdered’ by the police on the orders of the elected president were lobbing rocks, using catapults, molotov cocktails and guns. Perhaps he will use the footage in his defence. They would be safer to prosecute him for the same sort of charges that were made against the previous president.

    When the EU foreign minister is meeting the new peace loving unelected leaders, it would be interesting to know whether the Ukrainians realise that she has never been elected and was a left wing appointee of a failed politician.

    Bearing in mind that the cheap gas supplied by the Russians is vital for their economy and that there were issues with some of it finding its way west, they must be keeping their fingers crossed that the supply continues.

    • stred
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Also, bearing in mind that their election was due next year, was a single life of rebels or policemen worth the battle? Now it appears that our politicians, who are also about to be kicked out, can’t wait to borrow more cash and flash the wallet.

      • stred
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Apologies for adding more than I should, but I have been working while watching the box and saw reports that the Ukraine was’ bust’ and that it had a huge national debt.

        Googling Ukraine revealead that this debt is 37% of GDP. Crossing out the ‘raine, our figure is 88% and was 90. Other countries aparently keen to flash the wallet include Italy- 126%, US- 106, France- 90, Spain 84, Germany- 81, Netherlands 71. While the Russians have only10% and want their loan to Ukraine paid back. Romania only has 37%, so perhaps they can help us out.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I agree. There needs to be some balance here. The media continually interview the protesters and take all they say as gospel, whereas the Daily Telegraph front page for February 21st shows a protester hurling a petrol bomb towards the police. Also on Newsnight a night or two ago, it showed women making petrol bombs with pieces of polystrene in them. Apparently they had the effect of napalm when they hit someone. The protesters broke up paving stones to throw at the police and set fire to several buildings. Hardly a peaceful protes! Personally i would’nt give them a penny, and neither should our government. It’s not their money to give anyway!

  9. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Whereas it is an almost innate impulse to help those suffering ,it should be considered whether help is in reality what is being given. Most don’t want to give away their money if it means compromising their own living standards, particularly if they too are silently suffering and many who seemingly receive help don’t see any benefits to themselves as the money is straight into the pockets of the powerful (who by necessity of course take huge bonuses).
    Destruction of what exists rarely helps in the long run. If possible to renovate, change and mould democratically doesn’t spoil foundations completely and reduces the violence considerably.Many seem to look down on the ‘violent rabble’ as they ruin their own lives with aggression and destruction and just hang around to pick up the booty.

  10. Peter Richmond
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I could not agree more with your comments, Mr Redwood. The recent experience in Syria adds to your suggestion that we should be extremely careful. Who are the leaders now in the Ukraine? How can we be sure any money we give will be sensibly used? Is it inour interests to create a situation where Russia finds it difficult to offer their money? Half the country speaks Russian and seems to actually want to be part of Russia. Encourage them to sort themselves out as an independent entity, yes. But at arms length. Send Lady Ashton on holiday for the time being!

  11. Gina Dean
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Here we go again more of our money which is being borrowed going outside of our country to a government which would rather spend it on their grandos living. Zoos houses all for the few and not for the many. When are we going to learn welfare here and abroad does not help. Its time that a serious look at aid was undertaken and stopped. Charity begins at home, we have some serious help needed here.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Gina: I agree. Besides people in flooded homes in the UK need new carpets. As you say charity begins at home.

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Your cabinet colleagues never fail to rush in to offer money, which they have to borrow, in such circumstances. Supporting anarchy around the world may one day come home here with a very uncomfortable shock. As for Hague’s confirmation that “the lending would not be without conditions”, our Parliament must not take that at face value. After all, it is a fairly meaningless assertion. Little more than a year to the general election, the Chancellor still borrowing £2bn every week and yet happily talking of opening our chequebook to give to unknown disparate groups and anarchists in the Ukraine doesn’t strike me as a government worthy of a second term.

  13. Mark B
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;
    “Any such government needs an economic plan which makes sense, and an ability to control its debt and deficits.”

    For once I am not going to comment on this. Just leave it others to savor the irony.

    If memory serves me well, going to the IMF is really like going to the lender of last resort. I mean, you really have to be desperate. The IMF are not cuddly-wuddly to those it lends to. They can be very draconian and determined in the pursuit of policies Nation States must take. Just ask Greece, Iceland and of course, the UK.

    The monies being offered to Ukraine are not FREE. They come with terms and conditions that do not limit themselves just to interest payments and how the monies will be paid back. As we have come to learn from our experience with Iceland, a Nation State can and will default, leaving investors little or no chance of getting their monies back.

    Our roads and other parts of our infra-structure are either falling apart and need repair and/or renewal. In order for these countries to upgrade themselves, we are seeing our taxes being used to pay for things that we will never see much-less use. This is Socialism mission creep, EU style. And I for one do not like it. I do not like my monies used to prop-up a foreign policy that is in no way in my Nations best interest, and we are simply throwing good money that can be spent here at home, after bad that will be stolen elsewhere.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Ukraine is really desperate. Our roads have been rubbish for years. Perspective.

  14. Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The government (or the EU) must talk to the Russians and try to understand their viewpoint. Among other things they are clearly concerned about having a county with ties to the west right on their doorstep. They also have interests in their Ukrainian naval base. I believe that the way forward is for the EU and Russia to try to find some common ground which will allow for a truly independent country aligned to neither power block and trading with both.
    Maybe “pie in the sky”, but it’s well worth a try. Meanwhile, providing money is the last thing we should do; I take the view that any aid that we give anywhere should be in the form of British made goods or services, which at least provides jobs for our own citizens.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      EP

      Agree absolutely with your very sensible comments.

      Thank you John for sticking your head above the parapet and saying none of our borrowed money should be going to the Ukraine

    • zorro
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but unfortunately that is not what the West wants…. and it won’t stop until it goes far further east than Ukraine. When I say the West, I mean the ruling elements of the ‘West’.

      zorro

  15. Bert Young
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    We have absolutely no right to get involved following the events in the Ukraine ; still less to make promises of direct and indirect loans . Without consultation George Osborne went public in announcing promises of assistance seemingly mindless of the recent flood victims ; how stupid of him ! . Equally Obama lost no time in making his support – probably without any consultation with the IMF . Such individuals are power crazy and totally ignorant of public sentiment . The people of Ukraine are the only ones to sort themselves out via the ballot box ; once they have done this they must then prove their credibility in the international money market . We must remain as observers .

  16. John Eustace
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Or more to the point please don’t borrow more money using your constituents’ future earnings as collateral.
    If I remember the recent Top Gear correctly the Crimean War was in the Ukraine. Having just about finished repeating the Afghan debacle a new Crimean adventure would be lunacy indeed. Hague can try to lead that magnificent charge but this time none should follow.

    • Luke
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      “If I remember the recent Top Gear correctly the Crimean War was in the Ukraine.”
      Brilliant.

  17. The PrangWizard
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Russia’s leaders are, quite correctly in my view, warning the west and the EU in particular to stop interfering in the Ukraine. I think the EU’s involvement deserves retaliation and the chances are it will get it. I’ve just seen Ashton laying flowers to the dead, only the insurrectionists I imagine. This has been a clear case of blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State.

    I do not want any of England’s money to go to the Ukraine. Cameron and his Unionists should stay well out. ‘Not in may name’ as has been said elsewhere. If individuals wish to make private investments then they should do so within the law, but our government should stay out.

    If the Russian Navy or AirForce decides on a show of force around our largely undefended shores it will be hypocrisy to complain and Cameron and Hague will be to blame.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    This bears the hallmarks of wanting to strut about the world stage, trying to seem important, using other peoples money. It is not a good use for the taxes I pay. I object.

  19. Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    You write “We should be careful before allowing any of our money to go to the Ukraine.”

    I don’t claim any special expertise in international money matters, but my common sense tells me that it is the economics of the madhouse to contemplate, however carefully, letting money which we are having to borrow, go to such a country as Ukraine, or indeed, any other country.

    When will you people in Parliament begin to tackle the real economic issues facing the nation? Try the economic theory of Mr. Micawber instead.

    John Wrake

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    For a long time the protesters were waving EU flags as well as Ukrainian flags, but the EU flags are no longer so conspicuous; I wonder why that might be?

    I repeat that I do not want Ukraine to be allowed to join the EU, at least not while we are still in it; and if a treaty of accession were to be agreed I would want to be able to express my opposition to it by voting “no” in a UK referendum, notwithstanding Section 4(4)(c) of Hague’s “referendum block” law.

  21. Martin Ryder
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    So the plan is to: (a) borrow even more money than we are doing already; (b) hand it to the EU (who can’t even get their accounts audited); (c) who hand it to a bunch of squabbling politicians, who are unlikely to stay in power (if they are in power) long; (d) never get the money back; (e) pay the money back out of the pockets of my children and grandchild.

    But Mr Hague says that it will be alright as there are unspecified conditions attached to the loan. What a major disappointment Mr Hague has become.

  22. Dan H.
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Rather than acting on this ourselves, the thing we ought to be doing right now is standing back and letting the EU handle things. The reason I say this is that the EU is a very new power, and nobody really knows if it has the backbone and moral fortitude necessary to play power politics on the international stage. As the EU treaties all include an absolute requirement that the EU come to the defence of any threatened member state, it would be very nice to know if this mutual defence pact gets us a pit-bull or a poodle on our side.

    For this reason I would prefer to let the EU go this one alone; either they’ll rise to the challenge and meet Putin halfway, or we’ll find out that this supposed superpower will in fact piss its breeches and run for cover at the slightest challenge.

    This is useful to know. Let us find it out.

  23. Vanessa
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    If you read the piece on the link below you will see that the EU is probably unable to deliver all that it has promised Ukraine but wants it to join the EU to show that this corrupt and greedy organisation is still attractive to countries which are not members.

    This is, apparently, extremely dangerous and the consequences are unknown now.
    (link not checked)

  24. Dennis
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The incompetency of those in the Con. Party are revealed in the useless ‘Have Your Say’ survey forms sent by Cameron and Grant Shapps. There is no space to have a say only a list of boxes to tick entitled ‘What concerns you…’

    Ticking any box does not reveal what concerns me – if I tick ‘immigration’ does this mean I think there is too much or too little – the same with all the other boxes.

    I suppose they will interpret the ‘results’ just how they like.

    So re Ukraine don’t think we’ll get any sane responses.

  25. steve
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Would the Ukranian monies be in addition to our EU and our overseas aid?

    No wonder our taxes are higher, our debt increases and our services are being cut!

    Who voted conservative who this?

  26. Neil Craig
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I have some doubt show many of the Ukrainian people are wearing para-military uniforms and destroying things. The violence seems to have been in the main square of Kiev and hardly anywhere else.

    The related point about giving money is that the US assistant secretary of state has said that they have already given $5 bn to “awareness raising” activities. I suspect that if even $1 million was being paid to unemployed football (several of the “democracy groups” in Ukraine fans have a football fan base, some of them are less wholesome than that, none of them seem to share the gay friendliness we denounce the Russian government for not having) to occupy Parliament square, Parliament square would get occupied.

    This may also explain why the same US woman has been recorded on the phone, during the “revolution” giving the rebels their orders. Obviously this has not been widely reported by our impartial, balanced & honest state broadcaster. Nor is it ever mentioned that Yankovich was/is a democratically elected leader, despite the NATO attitude that “democracy” is any system of government NATO approves of, whatever the locals want.

    We are close to turning Ukraine into a larger, bordering Russia, inhabited by Russians & vital to their interests, replay of Yugoslavia. That also started when a NATO supported (people ed) rioted and beat government forces, portrayed as a popular uprising. It subsequently turned out that the government forces had had no ammunition, because they were engaged in policing duties whereas the rebels were armed and indeed the first massacre of that war was the coldblooded murder of surrendered, unarmed Yugoslav soldiers who had surrendered to the Slovenian militia – though this was not a “war crime” the NATO funded “court” were interested in.

    Paying mere money for the mess we have created may be the least of it. Ukraine is much more important to Russia now than Serbia was in 1914 and western promises, since we promised Gorbachev not to extend NATO beyond its 1989 borders, worth less.

  27. Atlas
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the Foreign Office looks at this matter from the point of view of the Russians? Put Putin to one side for the moment and remember that the Russians have worried about their borders both in the East and the West for many, many years. Hence we should not be surprised if they get jumpy about events on their border. Just to be clear, I’m not condoning ‘meddling’ by either side in the Ukraine.

  28. Alte Fritz
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Unless Ukraine can give some security which is within the lender’s reach such as a marketable bond, then there can be no security because it can never be enforced. Let us try to understand what is emerging before we sprinkle confetti.

  29. Aunty Estab
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Wish that some interviewer would ask Cameron what he thinks gives him the right to borrow money which we will have to repay plus interest to squander here there and everywhere.

  30. A different Simon
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I’d rather you gave my money to the Ukrainians than used it to fund wheezes designed to puff up UK house prices and keep the next generation in debt servitude .

  31. Andy
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Why don’t we apply the same principle to our own country. Why would anybody loan anything to US?

    “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.”

  32. bigneil
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Can I get a loan from the same place as our govt? brilliant system – Govt borrows it – then we (not the govt) -have to pay it back.
    Things that will definitely happen from this Ukraine problem -criminals there will siphon whatever “aid” is sent – vast majority of people will be worse off – -and we will end up with thousands here on benefits for the taxpayer to ( no choice in the matter) fund.
    I feel sorry for the people there, just as I do for the Syrians, but it is ridiculous to just keep bringing people here when we already have massive debt and a mountain of other problems. The people that bring them here will not be anywhere near them when they do, except for a photo call, then they will be back in their large detached houses with land all around.
    Some will see me as callous, but this is an island -not the vast expanses of France or Germany. We have finite space, NO money, (will someone remind DC?), and loads of other problems. When will Cameron start looking after US, because it seems we come a poor second to the rest the world, in his eyes. He – and the EU (no chance) should stop thinking this is a “world power” anymore. WE ARE NOT.
    p.s – – -nicely put article john. -but I hope you don’t mean ONLY your constituents money. Some of us don’t live near you.

  33. Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    All very sensible. We need to be assured that any loans will not only be repaid but will be put to constructive use in the meantime.

    Of course the requirement for loans would be much reduced if action were taken to recover all the assets looted by the former President, his family and their acolytes. There is evidence that some at least is hidden in the UK and no doubt more will be learnt when all the recently discovered documents are published. Will you ask the relevant authorities to investigate any UK companies and charities which might be implicated?

    Sending Ukrainian money back to the Ukraine would be better than loaning them ours.

  34. forthurst
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Ukraine has a complex and troubled history, in particularly it suffered greatly following the Bolshevik coup d’etat in Russia, after which Ukraine was substantially dismembered (subsequently gifted with the Crimea in 1954), and then starved during the Holodomor (a fate inflicted on other regions of the Bolshevik Empire). This memory is indelibly etched in the Ukrainian psyche which is why there is so much overt Russophobia. Of course the Russians themselves were just as much victims of the likes of Lazar Kaganovich and Genrikh Yagoda as the Ukrainians, since the Bolsheviks, generally, were neither Russians or even Serbs, but alien usurpers with more in common with violent criminals than statesmen, bankrolled by Jacob Schiff,(word left out ed), with twenty million dollars in gold entrusted to Leon Trotsky.

    Is our government in trying to give our money away in an ‘investment’, which JR might not recommend were he to be writing an investment advice column, wearing its EU hat or its Neocon hat? The Ukrainians need to understand that the Neoconservative movement, greatly assisted by the 9/11 false flag, are the spiritual successors of Leon Trotsky (as rebadged neo-Trotskyites and Republican Party entryists) which is why they have no compuction at all in creating endless mayhem and murder in country after country. The EU itself is becoming progressively more dysfunctional and unstable the further it encroaches Eastward, engulfing less and less compatible nations with those of North Western Europe and Ukraine could looks as indigestable as any so far.

    We need a government which wears neither a Neocon nor an EU hat, but a British hat looking after British interests spending our money here.

    Reply I have no wish to recommend investments in the Ukraine at the moment! Plenty more bad financial news about the Ukraine to come I suspect.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Re reply: Yes, indeed. See Liam Halligan’s article in the Sunday Telegraph Business section.

  35. Mark
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    The Ukraine has a long history of being invaded by marauders (e.g. sacked by the Mongols in 1240) or occupied by foreign powers: its historical boundaries changed often as different groups gained ascendancy in different parts (Poles, Lithuanians, Tatars, Cossacks, (Austro)-Hungarians among them). Its main experience of self government has come since the collapse of the USSR which created a power vacuum, and it has not been a happy one, riven with economic incompetence (including descent into hyperinflation), corruption, and rivalry predominantly between its Russian and Ukrainian populations.

    Perhaps it makes sense to partition the land once again to reduce the rivalries. Even so that offers little guarantee of solving the other problems – not that the EU or Russia would offer any hope of doing so either. However, it seems that more Polotsvian dances among the politicians will do little to solve the country’s problems. The Ukraine has Borodin-ough already. More money will only feed the corruption system.

  36. Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    It is all very “Big Hearted Arthur” of our Polticians to stick their noses Ukraine’s business and promise money to Ukraine, If there is more money about lets get our flood victims sorted out,lets get the NHS sorted out etc. By the way has any other country sent us money to help the flood victims ? let the Ukraine settle their own differences out themselves they are the only ones that can provide a lasting peace. all the vultures like the EU are not interested in freedom (they don’t let their own have a say ) all they are after is the minerals that lie in the Ukraine.

  37. JoeSoap
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    So even your normal dissenters are keeping quiet on this one!
    Clearly there is no logic at all to borrow and spend in the Ukraine without some immediate and economic return, viz a pile of coal, iron ore or whatever sitting safely in Felixstowe…
    Yet the government lead by your party take a totally different view…

  38. Bill
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for seeking assurances but what on earth is Mr Hague thinking? Is it simply that he has a budget to spend and he might as well push the money to Ukraine rather than Syria or Africa?

    How are these calculations made? Is it all about responding to human suffering or is there a cost-benefit analysis, or are the two muddled together by mandarins in the Foreign Office? Are we hoping to gain a trade advantage with the Ukrainians eventually or do we think it is a good idea to annoy Putin? Will some member of the government explain what they are up to?

    I have quoted this before but if you read Chris Mullen’s memoir, A View from the Foothills, page 67 he says of Clare Short in January 2000 ‘what better job has a Labour government to offer that redistributing the wealth of the middle classes to the poorest people in the world?’. Does Wm Hague feel the same way as Clare Short?!

  39. Robin
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    My sympathy does not extend to borrowing £millions for our PM to look good on the world stage as he hands it over to Ukraine; with or without conditions. I bet he will borrow considerably more than the miserly £10 million being made available to our flood victims.

    When I last looked we are spending £Billions (150?) per annum in excess of government receipts. Had my wife and I behaved in this irresponsible manner we would be two bankrupt OAPs.

    Mr Cameron, it is time you put the responsible people of England first.

  40. M Davis
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    The Government should stay right out of other people’s countrys’ business. If George Osborne wants to give money to another country, let him give his own. He has an absolute cheek to offer to give the Ukraine, British taxpayers hard-earned money, when Britain is in dire need of money for its’ own infrastructure and wellbeing. People in this Country are very generous at giving their own money to good causes but that is because it is their own money to give, if they wish to.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    The situation in the Ukraine is truly dreadful. An elected President is in external exile and it has been revealed that it his property is full of expensive motor cars, has many acres of land and many rooms filled with the most tasteless gilded ‘tat’. There seems to be prime facia evidence of corruption because you can’t buy that lot on a politician’s salary.

    He was deposed by an out of control mob containing a fair sprinkling of neo-Nazis (the sort of people that make monkey noises at football matches). The official opposition leaders cannot control the mob and have admitted as much.

    The lady ex Prime Minister has been released from jail after 3 years and is confined to a wheel chair, blaming the Ukranian authorities for causing this through maltreatment. She makes an impassioned and vindictive speech egging the mob on.

    The Ukrainian economy has had zero GDP growth for 2 years and is running a large fiscal deficit. It desperately needs (to avoid default) a substantial loan and several years of strong government to cut the deficit. Russia has a strong fiscal position, having state debt running at only 10% of GDP, and is willing and able to lend US$ 9 billion to the Ukraine in exchange for a favourable trade deal. What’s the problem?

    Meanwhile the EU tries to safeguard its potential trade deal by promising to loan money to the Ukraine instead of Russia. But that’s different. A typical EU Member State is running a public sector debt of getting on for 100% of GDP. A loan from the EU to the Ukraine would be the insolvent lending to the insolvent. The idea is ludicrous. How many Euros would the ECB need to print? Shouldn’t it make sure that it is able to cope with Greece defaulting on its debt before venturing further afield?

    While we are about it, shouldn’t the IMF make sure that Greece can repay its loan before it (the IMF) throws more money around? Just to remind everybody, the IMF is funded by participating nations, i.e. by their taxpayers.

    Into this catastrophic situation, the EU sends the lightweight Baroness What’s-her-name to issue threats, spout platitudes and try to tell the Ukraine how to run its internal affairs.

    How about shining a light on the ‘trade’ deal that the EU has offered the Ukraine? Has it got a hidden Federal agenda (there always is one) and may we be told what it is? Has the EU promised (without a scintilla of authorisation) that Ukrainians will enjoy freedom of movement throughout EU Member States.

    I want to support Mr Redwood wholeheartedly. The EU can do whatever it wants but NOT IN MY NAME.

    If there is going to be any peaceful solution, all shades of Ukrainian opinion must be allowed to contest Presidential and parliamentary elections. That includes the exiled President and the woman released from jail. Trials for corruption should be carried out in courtrooms, not on the streets of Kiev.

    On the evidence to hand, my hope is that Vitali Klitchko gets elected President. He hasn’t held office before and has clean hands; that counts in Ukraine. Let us hope that he doesn’t deliberately alienate Russia.

  42. Trevor Butler
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  43. acorn
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Please, will someone tell our foreign secretary that nobody gives a toss what he thinks or says about the Ukraine, we don’t matter on the world stage anymore. Just follow Obama’s instruction and stop playing the big I am in Westminster, it is becoming embarasing.

  44. Terry
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Peaceful protests achieve little – maybe condescending nods and vague promises of reform. Violent protests attract attention and when perpetuated, ultimately achieve their goals.

    What world leader takes any notice of the peaceful protest? It’s sheer violence that begets a hearing and in many cases, a resolution for the protesters. If the people really want change, they will have to resort to violent protest, as they have done in Kiev. There is no alternative.

    Reply Nonsense. Change is always possible in a democracy through peaceful means.

    • Terry
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Is it such nonsense? Tell me, where in the world has democratic change been forced upon an undemocratic regime, without the use of violence? How many years have you been, peacefully, trying to change the way the undemocratic EU dominates our lives? And what successes have you had there? It may be nonsense to you John, as an MP but to me, in the back streets of Britain, it is the reality.
      I am not advocating violence, merely putting the truth of the matter on the table.

      Reply I with others have kept us out of the Euro and am now close to getting the IN/Out referendum which gives us great scope for peaceful change.

      • Terry
        Posted March 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        After all this time, you are not much further ahead, are you? How many years have you been at it?
        And this non-violent battle will only be won IF the Conservatives win in 2015 so I remain skeptical of David Cameron’s sincerity in a referendum.
        I do not believe he would have advocated one had UKIP not appeared and I sense it is a form of political blackmail to vote Conservative or never get the proposed referendum. Else he would have chosen this year not next, for the people to make their decision and to hell with the libdem europhiles and their dictatorial attitudes.

        Reply IT was the Conservative MPs voting for a referendum in the Commons followed by our lobbying which led to the referendum pledge.

  45. Steve
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    When we give our hard earned DFID money to the Despots for their space programs , mansions, etc do the leaders of these dictatorships not then use some of our money they steal from their citizens to buy houses in Kensington or Mayfair, therefore we may get some of our money back from the Ukraine within weeks.

    So perhaps we should think of any money as a short term loan as William Hague suggests!

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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