Friday, May 8, 2009

Smart Money

It is becoming painfully obvious that Moldova is broke and is about to enter into a deep economic crisis. The Communist regime has two choices in seeking funds to cover its deficit. It can turn to western institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, or it can turn to Russia.

But wait a minute - Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was today quoted as saying that Russia itself would need loans from the World Bank to cover its spending, and World Bank representatives were quoted as saying that they were preparing a facility.

Strange. Russia has plenty of money available for garrisoning Abkhazia, S Ossetia & Transnistria, notwithstanding that these force dispositions are in breach of the 2008 ceasefire agreement and the 2000 Istanbul Treaty respectively. It has plenty of money for using in bribing Kyrghyzstan to evict the Americans from Manas airbase. Apparently it even has money to keep the Moldovan communists afloat. So with all this largesse washing around, why does Russia now need the support of the World Bank?

The answer is deceptively simple. Russia wants to use its own money to continue its military adventurism and support its aggressive foreign policy stance. It wants to use other people's money to pay pensions, unemployment benefits and other forms of social spending. The fact is that any World Bank loan would indirectly support Russia's illegal occupation of the three enclaves and would be on-loaned to client regimes in the former Soviet Union.

That's unacceptable. Don't get me wrong - there must be money spent on social priorities within Russia to protect the poor of that country. It's just that the first source of that money should be the funds currently earmarked for military operations in Georgia and Moldova. Accordingly, the World Bank should condition any financial support for Russia on complete compliance with it's international treaty obligations. That means withdrawing Russian forces in Georgia to the July 2008 lines of control and removing Russian troops completely from Transnistria.

Until that happens, Russia shouldn't get a cent.

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