The West Will Make a 1000% Profit From Plundering the Forests of Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is ready to do everything in order to obtain the new western credits, and he isn’t bothered at all about the natural resources of the country being plundered, and that the next generations are awaited by financial servitude, considers the head of the department of political science and sociology of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Andrey Koshkin.

In other words, according to the political scientist, Kiev brags about a new IMF tranche, living by the principle “after me, the flood”. After all, among the conditions put forward by Brussels in exchange for new credits is the cancellation of the moratorium on the export of the Ukrainian roundwood timber, because European Union companies will be able to receive a very nice profit from it.

According to the deputy dean of the faculty of global economics and politics of the Higher School of Economics Andrey Suzdaltsev, these are a valuable species of trees that are used for the production of elite products: “producers of products will be able to earn 1000%” profit from them.

Currently forests occupy about 17% of the territory of Ukraine, and the reserve of wood totals 2.1 billion cubic meters. This comes from the data of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine.

About 40% of all green spaces are in the West of Ukraine. Thus, despite the moratorium, illegal logging, according to ecologists, takes place almost in all regions of the country. The treasury of Ukraine loses nearly 83 million dollars annually because of this. According to the source of RT, most of the wood is illegally exported to European Union countries and Turkey under the guise of firewood and sanitary wood [for example, at the side of highways to absorb pollution – ed].

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However, such appropriation harms the ecosystem and the budget of the country much less than legalised deforestation, experts consider.

“After the cancellation of the moratorium tree felling will begin on an industrial scale, it will be a matter of plundering Ukrainian riches. The country will suffer enormous ecological damage with the approval of its leadership,” stressed the political scientist Koshkin.

The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine understands very well the scale of future losses, however they are sure that Poroshenko all the same will fulfil all of Brussels’ demands. The source of RT in the Ministry recalls that last year the President agreed to implement all of the demands of the European Commission in exchange for 1.8 billion euros, although as a result the extent of help was reduced to one billion euros.

In addition, pressure from strong devaluation is being put on Kiev, as well as a lack of monetary transfers from the IMF, also specifies Koshkin.

It is necessary to also consider that the Kiev authorities, according to all available data from the National Bank of Ukraine, owe the IMF 12.1 billion euros, and its debt to the European Commission is 1.2 billion euros

For this reason, in his opinion, Kiev will implemented all the demands of the EU at any cost.

“Petro Poroshenko brags that he was able to obtain credits from foreign creditors. But the fact that future generations will find themselves in financial servitude doesn’t disturb anybody,” he emphasised.

As a reminder, the full moratorium on the sale of roundwood timber abroad has acted in Ukraine since November, 2015. This outrages the EU because the moratorium deprives Europe of qualitative raw materials for the production of furniture and other products. Because of this refusal to cancel the moratorium Kiev wasn’t able receive 600 million euros from the EU in 2016.

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Back then the leader of Radical party in the Verkhovna Rada Oleg Lyashko promised “to hang on the nearest pine tree” the person who, at the request of the European Union, will lift the imposed ban.

Following the results of the EU-Ukraine summit, he wrote that the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker palmed off Kiev with a visa-free regime, but promised €600 million in credits in exchange for the cancellation of the moratorium on the export of roundwood timber.

“Cut your own trees! I will hang on the nearest pine tree the person who will even try to cancel our moratorium in the Rada,” promised the main Ukrainian radical.

This year, the fourth tranche of financial assistance to Ukraine, announced by the European Commission on March 9th should be supported by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. But everything will depend on the “implementation of reforms aimed at eliminating the vulnerabilities found in the Ukrainian economy”, progress in fighting corruption, and the fulfilment of a number of other demands, including the removal of restrictions on the sale of roundwood.

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