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Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM): People around the world demand IMF to cancel Ukraine’s unjust debt

 

 

By VIktoriia Pihul

March 5, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CADTM — The CADTM publishes this petition which emanates from citizens of Ukraine and which rightly asks for the cancellation of the Ukrainian debt. Correctly the initiators of this petition state that the

“Chaotic borrowing and antisocial debt conditionality was a result of total oligarchisation: unwilling to fight the wealthy, the state rulers kept getting deeper in debt. Loans were issued under conditions of social spending cuts, and their repayment forced to economise on vital needs and apply austerity to foundational economy sectors.”

It is for these reasons, among others, that the debt claimed from Ukraine is illegitimate. This is reason enough to justify its cancellation.

The war of invasion that Ukraine is undergoing is another compelling reason to justify the cancellation of the debt. The Ukrainian people must be supported in their struggle against aggression.

The CADTM specifies that it has reservations concerning the partially positive vision of the European Union given by the authors of this petition. The CADTM considers that the EU authorities have constantly pushed for the implementation of neoliberal policies. The European treaties are designed to favor the interests of big capital and big business so that they can best exploit workers by pitting the working classes against each other. The EU promotes a huge wage disparity between Romanian and Bulgarian workers on the one hand and workers in the western part of Europe on the other. The Ukrainian people would do well to reflect on the serious risks of their country joining the European Union as it is designed.

Despite our reservations about the text on the question of the EU, the CADTM supports this petition and calls for its signature.


On February 24, Russia launched a full-scale war with Ukraine.

Ukraine’s independence is under a threat as a result of a full scale Russian invasion into our country’s territory.

The state cannot afford its debt repayments any longer as Ukraine’s economy is destabilised as a result of the military campaign, increased spending on the military and having to deal with the consequences of war.

Presently Ukrainians are in the epicentre of war, unable to work and earn, we are losing our homes, economy, and property. Moreover, military occupation campaign of the Russian Federation is destroying sites and enterprises of strategic and critical infrastructure, transportation arteries and the economic potential of our country as all possible resources are mobilised to support the campaign of military defence.

Presently Ukraine’s foreign debt stands at $125 billion. The debt servicing expenditure for 2022 is expected to be circa $6.2 billion. That is approximately 12% of all state state budgetary expenditure

The IMF component of the above sum is $2.7 billion. That is equivalent to 16.5 million average pension payments in Ukraine.

On behalf of all Ukrainians we demand (1) the cancellation of the debt - that is now choking our state - and (2) that we are provided with multifaceted financial aid.

We demand Ukraine is freed from the debt yoke!
Raison

Why is the debt unfair?

Ukraine remains one of the poorest countries in Europe which now also is forced to defend itself against the aggression and the military offensive of Russia’s army - the second largest army in the world. Budgetary expenditure on arms and medical needs of the wounded have grown exponentially. In the aftermath of the war Ukraine will also need money to reconstruct its homes and infrastructure.

In such conditions, debt servicing is only possible if Ukraine is to deny its citizens satisfaction of their most urgent needs.

Chaotic borrowing and antisocial debt conditionality was a result of total oligarchisation: unwilling to fight the wealthy, the state rulers kept getting deeper in debt. Loans were issued under conditions of social spending cuts, and their repayment forced to economise on vital needs and apply austerity to foundational economy sectors.

Due to the lack of funds, Ukraine’s hospitals are poorly equipped, medical worker jobs of all ranks are cut and those with remaining jobs are underpaid as are teachers and other public sector workers. For example, many in some mining industry are not paid at all, wages are in arrears.

The largest trade union organisations of the country who represent some 5,000,000 workers too have joined the call for debt cancellation.

Who would benefit from the debt burden cancellation?

Such a move would help the people of Ukraine as due to the military invasion it needs funds to protect its civilians, provide housing for the displaced persons and medication for the wounded.

Such a move would be beneficial to our EU neighbours as it would invigorate economic activity in Ukraine and will thus lower a chance of an ongoing war in Europe and would allow to rebuild Ukraine’s economy and the bomb-annihilated infrastrucure. Welfare of Ukraine is critically important for stability of the whole Europe, the whole world.

What would be consequences of the debt burden cancellation?

  • It would facilitate reconstruction of the strategic and infrastructure enterprises destroyed as a result of military action
  • It would halt austerity in the social sphere and would allow, with time, to rebuilt their functionality and quality, allow their workers make a decent living
  • It would establish justice in relations with the EU and Ukraine, would become yet another meaningful act of support.

We express our gratitude to the Polish party Razem who have already made a suggestion that Ukraine’s debt obligations are taken over by the European Central Bank and other creditors.

To sign the petition: https://www.openpetition.eu/petition/online/people-around-the-world-demand-imf-to-cancel-ukraines-unjust-debt

Links:

  1. https://www.imf.org/external/np/fin/tad/extforth.aspx?memberkey1=993&date1key=2021-12-31&category=forth&year=2018&trxtype=repchg&overforth=f&schedule=exp&extend=y
  2. https://bank.gov.ua/files/ES/ZB_y_en.pdf
  3. https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/external-debt
  4. https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/external-debt
  5. https://partiarazem.pl/2022/02/uwolnijmy-ukraine-od-dlugow/
  6. https://partiarazem.pl/2022/02/postanovlennya-natsionalnoyi-rady-partiyi-livi-razom-shchodo-napadu-rosiyskoyi-federatsiyi-na-ukrayinu/

Translations:

  1. Ukrainian https://www.openpetition.eu/petition/online/ludi-v-usomu-sviti-prosat-mvf-skasuvati-zovnisnij-borg-ukraini
  2. German https://www.openpetition.eu/petition/online/menschen-auf-der-ganzen-welt-bitten-den-iwf-der-ukraine-die-auslandsschulden-zu-erlassen
  3. Dutch https://www.openpetition.eu/petition/online/mensen-over-de-hele-wereld-vragen-het-imf-om-kwijtschelding-buitenlandse-schuld-oekraine
  4. Japanese https://teletype.in/@alefnull/cancel-ukraine-debt-japanese
  5. Basque https://teletype.in/@alefnull/cancel-ukraine-debt-basque

Merci pour votre soutien,
VIktoriia Pihul de Kiyv,


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