Interview with author of the “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”: “the Main goal of Putin is to return political dominance in Ukraine”

In the European Union are actively promoting analogue of the Marshall Plan for Ukraine – “the New European plan for Ukraine”. The authorship of the document belongs to the three Lithuanian politicians: two former Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and Gediminas Kirkilas, the former head of the Ministry of foreign Affairs Petras Vaitiekunas. Earlier this year, a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” was officially approved by the Lithuanian Seimas, and in March Congress of the European people’s party (EPP), mentioning him in his final resolution.

“The EPP recognizes that in the current environment in the coming decade, it is difficult to expect Ukraine’s accession to the EU, however, the EPP should aim to strengthen the Eastern partnership. Successful transformation of Ukraine, an important element for strengthening civil society in other post-Communist countries, particularly in Russia. To save the Ukrainians ‘ motivation to pursue difficult reforms of the EPP encourages the establishment of broad investment package (“Marshall Plan for Ukraine”)”, – stated in the final resolution of the Congress of the EPP.

In may of this year, Lithuanian politicians, together with the Ukrainian deputies took the “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” in Washington, plans to present a paper in Germany and Brussels. “The new European plan for Ukraine” involves two key elements – economic and structural. In the first case we are talking about significant financial investments in the Ukrainian economy. The Lithuanians offered to provide Ukraine with about 3% of the EU budget, which is about 30 billion euros. In addition, the authors of the Plan refer to the words of ex-Finance Minister Natalka Jaresko and Swedish economist, senior researcher of the Atlantic Council Anders Aslund. According to them, in addition to the 30 billion euros the Ukrainian economy needs $4-5 billion annual injections to get out of debt and achieve economic growth.

“The world Bank should organize a one of their usual investment conferences, where major international donors and lenders were able to give the guarantee to Ukraine. The world Bank, the international Finance Corporation, EBRD and the European investment Bank could invest $1 billion a year to the $4 billion in Addition, the EU, USA, Japan, Germany and other donors on a bilateral basis can also programmirovat to $1-2 billion per year”, – said the “Today” Anders Aslund.

The second element of a “New European plan for Ukraine” – a package of European support, which can be used in ten years, when the EU and Ukraine will be ready for the prospect of membership. “This package would include standard measures of the EU support provided to Central European countries before the accession negotiations in the EU and in the negotiations. Russia has a clear long-term strategy…to Ukraine does not become part of the European civilization. The West, Ukraine and all we need to do everything possible to it failed. It is the goal of a “New European plan for Ukraine.” Ukraine and the West should understand that the usual intergovernmental and cooperation through diplomatic channels is not enough to win in this war of civilizations,” – said in “the New European plan for Ukraine.”

According to one of the authors of Andrius Kubilius, it is important to create a broad international coalition, which would not only supported the “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”, but also undertook to implement it. After all, his Marshall Plan U.S. Secretary of state George Marshall suggested not so much and not only to raise post-war economies of Europe with his knees, and to stop the spread of “Soviet plague”. In 1948-1951 gg. it the Marshall Plan covered 16 countries of Europe, including Western Germany, which received around $13 billion.

About the so-called Marshall Plan for Ukraine, as in Ukraine and the West say the last three years. First stated American financier, billionaire and philanthropist George Soros. Then the initiative was picked up by the Germans, but further words business has not progressed. And at the end of last year at a conference, the Ambassador of Germany in Ukraine Ernst Reichel stated that “I do not agree with those who asked for a “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine.” On the other hand, said Today the Director of the economic and social programs Razumkov Center Basil Yurchishin, for all the years of talks, Ukraine was not able to provide good ideas about what she understands under the Marshall Plan.

According to Andrius Kubilius, if the “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” will be implemented only under a specific plan of reforms that Ukraine would have to perform. That is why soon their delegation, together with Ukrainian parliamentarians will travel to Germany. They hope to enlist the support of the Germans, after all, if Berlin will support a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”, the rest of the EU will also be connected. About why “the New European plan for Ukraine” is still not implemented, those in the EU and vs as the analog of the “Marshall Plan” will help to stop Putin, former Prime Minister of Lithuania and current member of the Seimas Andrius Kubilius said in an interview with “Today”.

– When and how did the idea to write a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”?

– The idea is not particularly new. Immediately after the revolution of Dignity on such a “Marshall Plan” said, not only we, but also such famous people as George Soros. Everyone saw that Ukraine needs help, but, alas, further words that have been stuck. Therefore in the beginning of this year, when approached by the Estonian presidency of the European Union, we in the Sejm decided to present their ideas in an official document. We did it in the beginning of February and was adopted at the meeting of the Sejm. Then with this idea we started to walk through different corridors of the large States of the Western world, so to speak. And the first result we received in late March. To the vote of the EPP Congress, which took place in Malta, we have proposed a resolution, which mentions the “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”. It was adopted unanimously and then we realized that this idea is becoming more real. Then our delegation, with the hopko (head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on foreign Affairs – Ed.) and her colleagues went to Washington. Going through all the corridors of the White house and the state Department and Congress. ‘ve heard enough positive reviews that really need to have some kind of similar to the Marshall Plan tool. And now we move on, planned before the end of June to go to Berlin and Brussels. There are also a number of conferences, say, London in the beginning of July. And finally, we will present a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” at the Eastern partnership summit in November, where hopefully the mention of this document appears in the final Declaration of the summit.

– Who have You helped to promote a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”? Probably a lot of pains to get mention of it in the final resolution of the Congress of the EPP.

– When we introduced this resolution at the Congress, I saw, and for me it is just a good sign that the delegation of the German Christian Democrats strongly to the resolution with the Ukrainian amendment was adopted.

– And Poland?

– Yes, of course, the Polish delegation was also in favour. But, you know, we understand the reality of the EU. The position of Germany is very important. And the fact that she showed her positive attitude to our ideas, convince others to vote Yes.

– Although in January at one of the conferences the Ambassador of Germany in Ukraine, said that Ukraine does not need the Marshall Plan.

– I have not talked to him. We see what the strategy of President Putin in relation to Ukraine. I don’t know how it is understood in Berlin. We in Lithuania see this strategy quite clearly. Russia expects growth in the level of dissatisfaction of citizens of Ukraine economic situation in the country to this dissatisfaction resulted in the election by voting for populists or…

– Pro-Russian forces…

– I don’t think that during the war with Russia in Ukraine will be some kind of Pro-Russian rhetoric. In Moldova this has helped the new President. In Ukraine a little differently.

Putin wants to regain its political dominance in the political life of Ukraine. And that is his main goal, like Stalin in 1947. Why then there was the Marshall Plan? Because Marshall saw that Stalin have a clear goal and the opportunity to expand his political dominance in Western Europe, whose economies after the Second world war was crushed.

Local Communists in Italy and France were the minions of Stalin and had a great chance on the people’s discontent to win elections. That is, the situation in this respect is very similar and some of the alternatives not so much. Or the rapid expansion of the European Union, which helped the Baltic States… Why we were able to quickly pass the path of change? Although there was also a lot of discontent, but we the West have shown that we can become members of the EU, and it helped us. If you can’t show Ukraine, though we fight for it, then there is another tool that has helped in 1947 – the Marshall Plan.

But it all returns. Can Ukraine count on the specific actions of the West?

We work hard to ensure that this was not only Declaration, but also have real financial resources. And here we see the opportunity to use the resources of EU External Investment Plan (European external investment plan), which the European Commission provides up to 88 billion euros until 2020. The money, as stated in this plan, aimed mainly at Africa. But a large part may go to other countries. Already there is an initiative of the German government of Angela Merkel, which adopted as its initiative the so-called “Marshall Plan for Africa”. We believe that this is an important plan, it has its strategic importance. For example, among other things, he aimed at dealing with the migration crisis. But it is equally important that a similar tool was for the countries of the Eastern partnership, first for Ukraine.

– In their “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine, You refer to the words of the former Finance Minister Natalka Jaresko and senior researcher of the Atlantic Council Anders Aslund, which serves to infuse the Ukrainian economy by $4-5 billion annually.

In this we see the resources of EU External Investment Plan. Of course, half of that money will go to Africa. But still remain a considerable sum, at least part of them can be used for Ukraine. While no specifics, it is still too early to say, but there are such opportunities.

And Ukraine needs to be ready to cope with this possibility. Surely the money will be allocated for specific reform plan.

– Of course, we always say that “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” we call “conditions of reform”. And of course the money should be used for very specific projects and goals. They will not be in the budget, what they say and Aslund, and Yaresko. Here you can look at the example of the Marshall Plan in 1947. From the United States were the conditions, what reforms should be made. The United States said that they would allocate money for projects that should be developed by the countries of Western Europe. But on the other hand, the United States created in Europe, special “agents”, so-called agents for the reconstruction of Europe, which controlled who and what to allocate the money.

– In the “Marshall Plan for Ukraine” says that Ukraine is possible to allocate up to 3% of the EU budget. And it is about 30 billion euros. I do not think that Brussels will give us such a tidy sum.

– Soon, in 2018, will begin the discussion of a new multi-year EU budget. We understand what programs the funds will be allocated.

Let us look at the Lithuanian example: the 7-year period we receive about 10 billion euros. And if we will share 3% of this amount with Ukraine, so we will stay somewhere 9.7 billion euros – 300 million euros we give to projects in Ukraine. And I think we will survive as other countries.

But again, all of our initiatives and proposals by source of funds “of the Marshall Plan for Ukraine” is still very preliminary. That’s why we with your colleagues from the Parliament and go to Berlin and Brussels, so there are more details to discuss. We need that in Europe understood the essence, philosophy, and the need for such a tool. The West must understand that it is not only Ukraine but also the West. Ukraine’s success would be a good example for Russia.

– The Marshall plan of 1947 was implemented, including to deter the spread of Soviet “plague” in Europe. Why for three years the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the West has still not proposed a “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”.

– The Marshall plan after the Second world war appeared only in 1947-48. – three years after the end of the war. I think that the West lacks a deeper understanding of the causes of war in Ukraine, what is at stake. It is not only the fate of Ukraine, but also global issues. The West’s need to explain, but I see some positive signs. In Western capitals there are more rational understanding of what constitutes today’s Kremlin and the regime of President Putin. Can be loud nobody talks about it, but I see a number of such small steps that I and allow a more optimistic look on the future and a specific “Marshall Plan for Ukraine”.