By Pepe Escobar
May 7, 2014
Russia Today

The IMF has approved a $17 billion loan to Ukraine. The first $3.2 billion tranche has arrived on Wednesday.

It’s essential to identify the conditions attached to this Mafia-style “loan.” Nothing remotely similar to reviving the Ukrainian economy is in play. The scheme is inextricably linked to the IMF’s notorious, one-size-fits-all “structural adjustment” policy, known to hundreds of millions from Latin America and Southeast Asia to Southern Europe.

The regime changers in Kiev have duly complied, launching the inevitable austerity package – from tax hikes and frozen pensions to a stiff, over 50 percent rise on the price of natural gas heating Ukrainian homes. The “Ukrainian people” won’t be able to pay their utility bills this coming winter.

Predictably, the massive loan is not for the benefit of “the Ukrainian people.” Kiev is essentially bankrupt. Creditors range from Western banks to Gazprom – which is owed no less than $2.7 billion. The “loan” will pay back these creditors; not to mention that $5 billion of the total is earmarked for payments of – what else – previous IMF loans. It goes without saying that a lot of the funds will be duly pocketed – Afghanistan-style – by the current bunch of oligarchs aligned with the “Yats” government in Kiev.

The IMF has already warned that Ukraine is in recession and may need an extension of the $17 billion loan. IMF newspeak qualifies it as “a significant recalibration of the program.” This will happen, according to the IMF, if Kiev loses control of Eastern and Southern Ukraine – something already in progress.

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