Supporting Ukraine is EU’s Greatest Hope, Soros Insists

As the British referendum to withdraw from membership in the European Union looms ever closer, concern over the fundamental health of the EU is increasing. Europe faces a number of crises. The Greek debt problem promises no quick solution; the euro appears more fragile and embattled than ever; the crisis across the eurozone posed by asylum seekers from the Near East both destabilizes and chips away at EU member-states’ confidence in their leaders. And as confidence wanes, demands for change become more radical.

One voice offering EU leaders rational and constructive advice is that of George Soros, financier, chairman of Soros Fund Management, and head of the Open Society Foundation. In a recent article for the New York Review of Books, Soros identified the current situation in the Ukraine as deserving the highest priority for the European Union. Europe must support the Ukraine by continuing sanctions against Russia and by providing increased financial support. If the problems posed by the Ukraine are correctly dealt with, Soros insists, the EU stands to gain a valuable bulwark against Russian military and economic aggression as well as a renewal of its own morale. If ignored or mishandled, however, the Ukrainian situation threatens to strengthen Vladimir Putin’s stand and to further destabilize the EU.

Soros has posited the existence of a “new” and an “old” Ukraine. The latter was controlled by moneyed oligarchs who put self-enrichment before the welfare of the state; the old Ukraine was led by former president Viktor Yanukovych and his party, driven from power during the Maidan revolution in February, 2014. The “new” Ukraine is determined to carry out reform and to right the wrongs of its political past. It is strong, vibrant, and willing to sacrifice its own current interests for a better tomorrow. If the EU can bolster the new Ukraine, not only with sanctions against Russia but with direct financial assistance, it promises to become a valuable and capable ally. But if the new Ukraine is allowed to stagnate and lose heart, it will take at least a generation to rebuild the spirit of reform that it currently demonstrates.

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Sustaining Ukraine’s Breakthrough

The European Union, Soros insists, has been treating the new Ukraine like Greece when it comes to being willing to invest in the country’s future. Many EU member countries strongly oppose further financial bail-outs for Greece. But to treat the new Ukraine like Greece and to hesitate to invest in its financial security and growth would, George Soros Ukraine maintains, be very wrong-headed. The Ukraine needs a lot of cash to stabilize its economy and to help it build upon its strengths. Irrespective of how the EU should deal with Greece, one of its own members, it certainly should be willing to bolster the Ukraine with financial assistance at this crucial moment. To do so would not only gain Europe a valuable ally; the Ukraine’s successful recovery from recent trials would serve to discredit Vladimir Putin’s policies, causing further financial stress in Russia and weakening Putin’s popularity among Russian voters.

Learn more about George Soros Ukraine:–and-germany-in-particular–to-take-the-lead?barrier=true

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