Vladimir Zelensky ready to adopt unpopular measures
In relations between the IMF and Ukraine, the long-awaited clearance has come for Kiev. Ukraine will receive money, but must pass laws that the majority in the country considers unacceptable. Actually, Kiev has been notified about the terms of the tranche for a long time. But judging by how events unfold today, relations between the IMF and the Ukrainian authorities have moved into the field of trade. Today, the IMF is ready to provide not the requested amount of funds, but even increase the loan program from 5.5 billion dollars. up to 8 billion dollars.
For this to happen, the Verkhovna Rada must pass laws that the opposition, in the person of Yulia Tymoshenko, has already called anti-Ukrainian.
The IMF demands the abolition of a multi-year moratorium on the sale of agricultural land. The Verkhovna Rada at the beginning of the year began to discuss the bill, but did not advance far. There were contradictions between the deputies and factions, the bill was overgrown with so many amendments that it became clear that a new one was needed, because the text itself was simply lost in a mass of mutually exclusive comments and requirements.
Today, the authorities seemed to be able to fight back from the massive attacks caused by the fear that the land would go to foreigners. An agreement was reached in principle - non-citizens of Ukraine will not be able to buy agricultural land at least until a referendum is held on this issue. True, it is not very clear how the IMF will react to this intra-Ukrainian compromise. Whether this alignment is included in the plans of this institute, whether it contradicts its plans, is not yet known.
Another nuance. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the area of allotted plots will be halved compared to those planned: for individuals - a maximum of 100 hectares, and for legal entities - no more than 10 thousand hectares. This, of course, if the results of the referendum are in favor of adopting such a law.
However, the opposition was not impressed by such moves by the president. So, Yulia Tymoshenko managed to “expose” them, saying that the issue of food security is becoming aggravated on the planet, and under such conditions, the sale of agricultural land is a crime against the nation, because giving land to foreigners means getting into bondage and getting a destroyed country.
Another key IMF requirement is to pass a law to prevent nationalized banks from returning to their former owners. Even a precedent is able to crush the entire financial system of Ukraine and plunge into chaos, not to mention the repayment of external loans.
Here, it’s obvious that a well-known businessman Igor Kolomoisky should be singled out as a “graph”. Vladimir Zelensky became president not without its help. During the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, Kolomoisky lost one of his valuable assets in the form of Privat Bank. It seems that Kolomoisky had some kind of views on his former bank, because he reacted quite nervously, noting that Ukraine is better off defaulting, and not cooperating on such terms with the IMF.
If a businessman connected some hopes with the fact that Zelensky for the reason mentioned above would not go against his interests, then it seems he was mistaken. The President, on the contrary, quite toughly announced in absentia polemic that default is not the way of Ukraine. He called on the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada not to postpone the meeting and to meet as soon as possible in the shortest possible time, since the matter is extremely important for the future of Ukraine issues and bills. Zelensky essentially made it clear that IMF assistance is perhaps the only chance for the state to get out of the crisis.
But it will be very difficult for Vladimir Zelensky to achieve his goal.
Firstly, it is difficult to say how the deputies will respond to his call "to get together in a short time." The next meeting was planned to be held this week, but did not take place, as several people's deputies were at once infected with a coronavirus. The rest went into legal quarantine. Regular organizational issues have arisen which, by the way, have not yet been resolved: where it is not very clear where to hold parliamentary meetings, whether they can be held remotely is also unclear, both in legislative and technical terms.
Secondly, it seems impossible to push through the land bill in the form required by the IMF. The initiative in this matter is entirely on the side of the opposition, nationalist groups. Speculation on the topic of "sell the homeland" is in full swing. The idea is not popular among ordinary people.
Thirdly, it’s very difficult with the law on the non-return of banks to their former owners. It may turn out that there will be no unanimity in the presidential team. The fact is that all of her at one time was connected with Igor Kolomoisky in creative terms - after all, it was he who stood behind the popular shows and series, thanks to which team members gained fame and popularity. And if Zelensky considers or is forced to consider himself free from obligations to Kolomoisky, including moral ones, then other team members may have a completely different attitude to the sensitive sensitive issue. In addition, or even without it, it is believed that Kolomoisky in the Verkhovna Rada has an influential group of supporters, and with the appropriate go-ahead, it can fail any bill.
A summation of all this gives the result: the IMF’s cooperation with Ukraine under the current conditions will not take place soon, if at all.