It may seem odd to some that a hugely successful businessman and investor, worth over $2 billion, and one of the thirty richest people in the world, would have a vested interest in offering bailouts to floundering economies in Eastern Europe. George Soros, however, would tell you that it is not odd at all. He has been heavily involved in the region for many years, and has recently become an advocate for post-revolutionary Ukraine.
Since the Ukrainian Revolution in February of 2014, George Soros has written prolifically about the political and economic state of Ukraine, encouraging support and assistance from the rest of the world.
The Ukraine uprising managed to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, surprising the world. George Soros compares the reason behind this success to quantum mechanics, saying that, just as subatomic phenomena can manifest as both particles and waves, so too can humans behave as an individual or as part of a larger whole. The success of the Ukrainian revolution is due, he says, to this ability to behave as part of a larger whole, with regard for personal safety exchanged for the drive to affect great change within the Ukrainian nation.
In light of this fledgling revolution, Soros writes that both the United States and the European Union have a responsibility to help ensure its continued success. he argues that the Ukrainian people are striving for a nation free of the corruption and policies that led to the downfall of the overthrown government. Unfortunately, revolutions are costly, and the added aggression of Vladimir Putin’s Russia left the country $19 million in debt. This amount unsustainable for a country struggling to maintain itself and establish a new government after revolution, and Ukraine threatens to collapse under the financial strain.
To solve this, or at least to alleviate it to the point that Ukraine could struggle to its feet once more, George Soros urges the European Union to take a multi-layered approach to Ukraine’s debt. Firstly, he writes that the debt should be renegotiated. Providing debt relief would take a great amount of strain off an economy already stretched thin. Secondly, political risk insurance to countries and individuals willing to do business with and invest in Ukraine. Making business seem less politically risky could help boost the economy in the new nation as it struggles to its feet. He notes that it would be best if the EU made this insurance free, thus avoiding countries avoiding investment in Ukraine simply because of the cost of political risk insurance. Thirdly, he writes that wealthier countries should consider modest capital infusions directly into Ukraine’s economy.
He reminds world leaders that Ukraine is struggling, but growing and intent on rebuilding a nation that has moved beyond corrupt policies and into a parliamentary democracy, run by the will of the people. However, he cautions, this cannot become a reality without the support of Ukraine’s neighbors. Russia has made it abundantly and violently clear that they will render no aid, and so, he writes, it is up to the EU to combat the potential economic collapse of the Ukraine.