Alexander Okhrimenko

President of the Ukrainian Analytical Center, Ph.D. in Economics, on the economy and business, latest trends and forecasts.

In all Ukraine’s history technical default of domestic government loan bonds took place only in 1998, and even then the situation was fixed up very quickly. In addition, in many respects the reason of this technical default was a “gift” from Russia, which in August, 1998 declared default of its state bonds, which ricochetted the Ukrainian government bonds as well. But after 1998 Ukraine disbursed all interest on a regular basis and to the full extent and repaid both eurobonds and credits in a timely manner. Only in 2013 Ukraine paid off 10 billion dollars of external debts. At the beginning of 2014 Ukraine satisfied another IMF credit amounting to 1 billion dollars. But nevertheless, international rating agencies, despite a long default-free Ukraine’s history, stubbornly predict default and obviously don’t want to assess the situation in Ukraine objectively.

Actually every year since 2008 international rating agencies declare that Ukraine is about to face default, but a year passes and there are no problems in Ukraine. But rather than raising Ukraine’s rating, they only keep lowering it, each time making up new and new reasons. I am beginning to think that the main goal of international rating agencies is not to objectively estimate risks in Ukraine, but only to write intentionally negative information about the Ukrainian economy, paying no attention to this very economy.

Political prejudice of international rating agencies in respect of Ukraine can be explained to a certain degree by a simple desire to force Ukraine to become the EU’s vassal. Everyone knows that although international rating agencies like S&P or Moody’s are independent, actually they are technical structures of the U.S. Department of State, and very often their ratings are made according to the primitive principle. If the country listens to the US, it gets a good rating regardless of the real state of the economy of the country. And if the country tries to conduct independent policy, its rating can’t be high, as it isn’t acceptable for the US. Which to a large extent shows that the US continues to use various non-governmental structures in its illegal war against Ukraine and tries to appoint a puppet government acceptable to the US in charge of the Ukrainian state by means of these agencies.

Russia is also trying to conduct a similar policy. In the period of signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU Russia constantly declared the risk of default. It became one of the trumps of Russia’s foreign policy in the course of pressuring Ukraine to make it give up on the AA. In fact, the US and Russia have nothing different in their methods of fighting for Ukraine. They descend to any information provocations and are only trying to create a negative image of Ukraine’s economy.

The policy of disseminating negative information about Ukraine’s economy in many respects is connected with the fact that Ukraine doesn’t want to be the EU’s or Russia’s vassal. Ukraine wants to conduct independent economic policy as a sovereign country. And it’s a pity that Ukraine’s nearest neighbors and the US don’t understand this and organize permanent provocations.

This brings up the question why the international rating agencies are so sure about default in Ukraine which regularly satisfies its debts, and thus can’t explain how come they were not in a position to notice default of American bonds in 2007. Maybe their ratings became profanation a long time ago. And they play no role, rather being used only for information wars against other countries of the world.


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