Support for Ukraine is the “Best Investment” in International Security – Lawrence H. Summers

Support for Ukraine is the “Best Investment” in International Security – Lawrence H. Summers
11 September 2015

Support for Ukraine in the form of loans is the best form of investment in international security, Lawrence H. Summers said Friday, at the 12th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting, in Kyiv. President Emeritus of Harvard University, said at the 12th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting.

The former Treasury Secretary and President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University explained further:

“The European governments, which are greatly interested in Ukraine as a buffer zone, are not providing half the money they promised. The $3 to 4 billion in loans or guarantees are, in effect, nothing,” he said. “This is not a charity cause, this is an investment in security. There could be no better investment in U.S., European, and international security than in directing an additional $50 billion per year towards support for Ukraine – naturally on the condition that reforms will be continued. If something goes wrong, we will lose much greater money.”

Summers added that he was pleasantly surprised by the reforms being implemented by the Ukrainian government.

“In the past 12 months, Ukraine has obliged every request from the United States, Western Europe, and the IMF. This is simply incredible. I am hard pressed to believe that the next government will be capable of such reforms,” he remarked.

For his part, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, remarked that Europe was prepared to support Ukraine in return for serious reforms.

“According to the IMF's estimate, we are talking about 40 billion euros [to be extended to Ukraine in the form of loans] in 2017-18, and no one is reneging on this,” Hahn said. “The Ukrainian prime minister and president have achieved a lot recently, particularly in the light of the current circumstances. Nevertheless, more needs to be done. Legislative changes have been introduced, but implementing them will be a real challenge. We are talking about stimulation of business and of the economy, which requires less corruption and more transparency.”

Another participant in the panel discussion, Ronnie C. Chan, spoke of his belief that Ukraine should not expect too much from the West and should instead rely on its own resources. Chan, the chairman of Hang Lung Properties Ltd. Said: “As the saying goes, ill-gotten goods never prosper.” He added that Ukraine should consider China as a potential partner, because Chinese business was above politics. 

The 12th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting is streamed live at yes-ukraine.org as well as web-sites of the Media Partners in English and Ukrainian.

The official Twitter of the 12th YES Annual Meeting is @yes_ukraine, and participants and followers can include the hashtag: #YESUkraine2015.

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Franco Frattini
Franco Frattini
President of SIOI; Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2008-2011), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«We extremely need political leadership if you want to see the European Union more proactive on a global scene.»