Michael Hudson: EU Association Agreement with Ukraine Is a Gift to Kleptocrats

Published on naked capitalism, inclusive video, 10.59 min, by Yves Smith, July 1, 2014 (also on YouTube).

This video is a great, accessible discussion by Michael Hudson on the Real News Network about how the widely-touted EU deal with the Ukraine is actually an exercise in looting by kleptocrats. Hudson explains that unlike earlier pacts, the EU is making no investment in Ukraine, nor is it allowing Ukraine, which has an agricultural producing region, to have the benefits of the CAP that French farmers enjoy. Hudson point out that the supposed benefit of Ukraine having access to the EU for exports is a smokescreen, since Ukraine is going to lose its main export market, Russia, and the Europeans don’t want to buy Ukraine’s products. Hudson contends that this deal is a de facto takeover, with kleptocrats to be installed in key governmental positions. He anticipates that the result will be mass unemployment and unrest.

This portion of the transcript caught my eye:

HUDSON: Well, I’m going to begin by putting it in the big picture, and then I’ll get to the details. The big picture is that this is a form of colonialism almost identical to what Europe did in Africa and Latin America and the Near East. What it did in the 19th century in Africa, where property was owned communally, was it would go to the chieftains of a given tribe, as it did to the Saudi Arabian chieftains, and it would say, well, to make an agreement, you have to register all this oil of your country, but you register it in your own name. And once they registered it in their own name, then Britain or France or the other European powers could make a deal that the chieftains could then sell this property or make contracts on behalf of oil or minerals with the European colonial powers. And that’s how the colonial powers pried away all of this property from what had been tribal possession or communal possession.

Well, as you know, what happened in the Ukraine and the rest of Central Europe after 1991 was all of this public property that was the legacy of the Soviet domination was simply registered in the names of the factory managers. So Ukraine has been called the Nigeria of the North for a good reason. The factory managers and all the leading kleptocrats simply registered their factories in their own name and took it over. And now it’s time for stage two of the process, and stage two is basically the agreement that was signed last Friday.

And stage two: … //

… (full text).

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Priscilla P. Wood’s Blog.

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