[VIDEO] Ukraine on the Edge: Future ‘May Hinge on Oligarchs’Posted: February 18, 2014
Ukraine’s political standoff show no sign of abating, while the economy is at risk of imploding as the country teeters on the brink of default, according to reports:
But behind the scenes is a handful of the country’s wealthiest businessmen, who control an enormous amount of Ukraine’s economic output through their holdings in metallurgy, chemical production, and mining, and other industries. This clan of oligarchs, with their economic interests and close ties to embattled President Viktor Yanukovych, could be critical to ending the political turmoil.
By using their economic clout, Ukraine’s elite clan of oligarchs could pressure Yanukovych to find a political compromise quickly in order to save the economy, and their businesses, says Volodymyr Panchenko, the director of the International Center for Policy Studies in Kiev.
“The oligarchs could definitely change the situation, and it should be done this week,” he says.
“It’s definitely time for them to act, they are personally losing money as this revolution continues,” says Vadim Grib, the head of the private equity fund Tekt in Kiev. “We have no more time here.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again warned the West against interfering in the political crisis, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, while a senior European Union official called on government and the opposition to take urgent measures to form a coalition government as a way out a nearly three-month-long crisis.
“If Europe acts decisively and quickly to sanction the current Ukrainian government and formulate an economic and political package to stabilize the country, it can yet help to blunt Russia’s expansionist impulses and secure Ukraine’s Westward trajectory,” analyst Stephen Blank writes for the Wall Street Journal...
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