21 November 2014

Ukraine - One year on (21st November)

Today it is one year since the start of the events that led to the 'Revolution' in Ukraine.

Who would have thought that it would lead to the country being at war with Russia?

The economy is weaker than ever. It will be very difficult to attract genuine foreign investors to Ukraine.

Is the country set on a course of surviving from hands outs from the EU, IMF and others?

Andrey Kurkov on the BBC web site says:

It is unclear how the current chapter of Ukrainian history will end. I remain optimistic in spite of the pain I feel remembering those who died in the battle for a new Ukraine and those who are still dying and risking their lives on the Donbas frontline.
I do believe Ukraine will withstand it all and will maintain her independence and that the Ukrainian people will hold on to their desire to live in a civilised state cleared of a corrupt elite and corrupt judiciary.
But without the European Union's help, Ukraine will not be able to achieve this. Not because the Ukrainians lack determination, but because beside Ukraine stands a Russia which needs Ukraine to remain as it was under Yanukovych and other presidents - weak, passive and corrupt.
See the article here

10 November 2014

Ukraine Currency Collapse

Although many people are commenting on the collapse of the Russian ruble, they should be very concerned about the Ukraine Hrvynia.

The currency has devalued by over 47 percent since the start of the year. Exchange rates today stood at:

UAH/USD - 15.50
UAH/EUR - 19.00
UAH/GBP - 24.00

But I'm sure it might have changed while I was writing this.

The NBU (National Bank of Ukraine) claimed today that the Hryvnia will not go any weaker than 16.00 to the USD. I would not gamble on it.

For those of us in business who need to purchase foreign currency for transactions it is beyond any joke.

05 November 2014

Corruption in Ukraine Continues

The owner of the Kyiv Post in Ukraine, Mohammad Zahoor recently wrote an article that appeared in the FT on the continuing problem of corruption in Ukraine.

I agree with his comments. Corruption is very deeply seated in both the public and private sectors in Ukraine. Far too many government officials (state employees) carry too much power and use it to extract financial gain from both individuals and businesses.

BUT.........I blame the people, the general public and business owners for continuing to support the corrupt system in Ukraine. Although many will claim they have no choice but to pay bribes or their businesses will suffer if they do not give in to demands from corrupt officials, it is THEY who maintain the system.

If the people of Ukraine really want to bring about CHANGE in the country and stop all this crazy corruption THEY THE PEOPLE can do it, just like they came out onto the streets in 2013 to start demanding change. They can do it again.

Moreover, the only thing people need to do to stop corruption is to STOP PAYING any bribes to government officials or anyone in the private sector. STOP giving money to police officers when they stop you for a so called speeding offence. STOP paying bribes to junior government employees to 'help you make things easier'. STOP paying anything to those higher up. No matter how much they may claim they will make your life difficult if you do not pay. YOU can make their life difficult by reporting them.

The days of being afraid are over. My advice to the people of Ukraine is to stand up and be counted once again and put a stop to all this continuing problem of corruption that is holding the country back from moving forward.