Timothy Ash: UKRAINE ENTERING ‘SERIOUS POLITICAL CRISIS’: SPEAKER HROISMAN

Guest Contributor:

One tip for politicians in places of power – don’t mention the “C” word when u are facing a tricky economic situation.

It reminds me of President Sezer in Turkey in 2001 when he famously (reportedly, but maybe urban legend) threw a copy of the constitution at then PM Ecevit and said “we have a crisis”. Within days the market had taken him at his word, and the crawling peg exchange rate regime had collapsed and the rest is history.

Hrosiman is an experienced politician and ally of President Poroshenko, so should know better – if you use the word “crisis”, you are likely to get one if you have not got one already. I presume this relates to the resignation of the reform minded economy minister – whose resignation has still not been accepted by President Poroshenko or the Rada. Poroshenko needs to move fast to restore credibility and confidence, particularly in reforms aimed at improving the rule of law. I still cannot see early elections – as likely suicide for the two main ruling parties, and just working to the advantage of the opposition (in and out of the ruling coalition), and likely Russia.

But I guess this is Ukraine, where there are always a lot of things going on under the radar, in backrooms, and where oligarchic business interests always seem to come out on top – and that is the problem.

Timothy Ash is the head of emerging market research for Sales/Trading departments of Nomura International and a leading expert on Ukrainian affairs.

published 4 February 2016: Economics, EU, Reform