Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk is lobbying Washington to convince American firms to buy up Ukraine in the country’s planned flea market of state controlled enterprises.
“The Prime Minister of Ukraine has urged U.S. partners to actively use the investment opportunities offered by the privatization campaign in Ukraine, particularly in the energy sector,” a statement posted on Ukraine’s governmental website said on Monday.
Yats met with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin recently to discuss the current state of economic reforms following an additional $1 billion pledge in official U.S. aid to the fledgling nation.
Ukraine seems to be constantly embattled. The recent Euromaiden revolution took the country out of Russia’s sphere of influence and into Europe and the U.S. “loving arms.” However, the nation is not united on Kyiv’s newfound love for the west. And despite calls for Ukraine to be more pro-actively engaged with a capitalist Europe than with a mostly state controlled Russian economy, it is unclear just how attractive the country looks to Americans right now. The hub of Ukraine’s industrial east is largely controlled by separatist groups backed, in part, by the Russian military. Although Russia denies official support (they say its volunteer support), the AP has reported extensively on how local pro-Russia separatist groups receive off-the-reservation military aid from “Uncle Putin”.
Yats, meanwhile, is teaming with president Petro Poroshenko in leading a nation of disbelievers. Their poll numbers are in the gutter. And so if Yats thinks that selling a state asset for a dime to foreigners is going to go off without protest, then it is clear that Ukraine is not disinterested in being controlled by foreign entities after all, so long as those foreign entities do not speak Russian.
Besides the $2 billion from the U.S., Ukraine is getting most of its money from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Around $40 billion is heading their way over a four year period some in the press have likened to the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild Europe after World War II.
Kenneth Rapoza, forbes.com