Ukraine wants Russia to return the 23 billion dollars from the Fund of the USSR

Yanukovych calls for billions of Russian money

In brief: Ukraine and Yanukovych asked Russia to pay urgently the debts. It is about money, which took Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Last weekend in a dispute over foreign ownership of the former Soviet Union joined the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich. In an interview to Ukrainian TV, he said that does not support the transfer of all assets in favor of Russia and proposes to divide it between the former Soviet republics. However, once the reservation that is not yet exactly how this should be done.

Comment Yanukovych was fairly short, so to understand how a particular property he had in mind, it is difficult. Perhaps not only what was outside the Soviet Union, but other values (eg, the Soviet gold reserves, the share of which previously required by some Ukrainian politicians). Here is what the Ukrainian president said: “This process [disputes over property] is practically the first years of independence of Ukraine, and we do not see today is still the solution. We will never recognize this. We believe that it [the property] should be divided between the countries of the former USSR. A certain urgency Yanukovych gave a speech that the property in question, feels Russia. His “section” (if this has come to matter) actually would be a redistribution of assets in favor of the neighbors (not wanting, apparently, seem greedy, the Ukrainian president was not limited to claims only his country, and invited to participate in the division and the other republics). However, by itself, this phrase does not imply that Yanukovych suddenly moved to the camp enemies Russia and joined the ranks of those who demand money for “Soviet occupation.” The history of the extension of the lease for the Black Sea fleet (including the fact the speed with which the Ukrainian authorities have dragged the relevant agreement through parliament) has shown that at the right time on the loyalty of Yanukovych, Moscow may well calculate. Until then, the president can afford some liberties, urging voters in their willingness to defend national interests.

Real estate, gold and diamonds

Disputes in connection with Soviet property, generally carried out in several directions. On the one hand, differences over property outside the former USSR (eg, by diplomatic missions and other real estate). On the other hand, conflicts over assets located in Russia and Ukraine and that, accordingly, claims a neighboring state (eg, some pensions, which in Soviet times, were built by one of the republics, but are located on the territory of neighboring).

Formally, the division of foreign ownership of the USSR had long since been resolved. In 1991, former Soviet republics signed an agreement under which Russia was obliged to pay the external debt of the USSR, and in exchange receives the right to property of the Soviet Union abroad. In Ukraine, then thinking about how to repay their portion of the debt itself and thus lay claim to part of Soviet assets (in Kiev estimate that the share of the republic had 16.37 percent of Soviet assets and about 13 billion dollars foreign debt). However, later abandoned this idea: in 1994, the head of the Ukrainian government signed a treaty with Russia on the “zero option”, refusing to and from the Soviet debts and from the Soviet assets.

Parliament, however, refused to ratify this treaty. Members who reviewed the document in 1997, made a number of additional requirements, including repayment of (through Russia) Debt Vnesheconombank USSR to the people of Ukraine, the Ukrainian side to provide comprehensive information on Soviet assets, as well as establishing free trade between the two countries. As a result, the “zero option” was not finally approved. Russia, however, payments for neighbors (including those for Ukraine) Soviet debt, considers the issue resolved. Moscow’s position has recently confirmed the administrator of President Vladimir Kozhin, who declared that “the field for a compromise is not here.” Ukrainian government, he said, must simply accept the agreement took place in which Russia paid off debts and became eligible for overseas property.

In Kiev, between now and then returned to the idea of recognition of the debt. Calculation is that the amount of debt (referred to 13 billion dollars) is less than the amount that you can help out for the (alleged) Ukrainian share of Soviet property. Already in 1997, when Parliament debated the “zero option”, the Ukrainian side had estimated that the republic of the Soviet assets owed 12.1 billion dollars, 7.8 billion rubles, the property at 0.6 billion rubles, and in addition 42,1 ton gold from the reserves of the Soviet Union.

“It is time to firmly put the question, – says the latest member of the Lytvyn bloc Oleh Zarubinskyi. – It is normal when today in favor of Russia registered the diplomatic missions, trade missions, a huge property that has been in the Soviet Union abroad” (translation of the disputed property under the control of the RF he claimed “illegally”). As for Ukraine, it is as assured Zarubinskyi is entitled to one sixth of the property the former Soviet Union, including on the sixth of the gold reserve and one sixth of the value of the Diamond Fund of the USSR. With regard to real estate MP stated that it was a “whole neighborhoods in the heart of Berlin, homes in the heart of Geneva and other prestigious places. Enthusiasts have argued that Ukraine thus could get tens and even hundreds of billions of dollars. The leader of the Ukrainian People’s Party of Yuriy Kostenko, for example, said that by returning its share of the wealth of the Soviet, the republic could pay for Russian gas supplies directly to one hundred years ahead.

Official development of these plans were not received. The Ukrainian authorities were apparently not prepared to go beyond the arguments about the recognition of debt and begin large-scale fight with Russia for the gold and real estate. Among other things, the plan suffered from a shortage of money. Odd billion dollars that the Philippines could be spent on compensation for Soviet debts (demanding in exchange for an overseas real estate), the republic was not long ago.

On the other hand, seeking their share of the inheritance from the Soviet Union, Ukraine was able to bring Russia some inconvenience. Ten years ago in Ministry of State Property of Russia complained that the position of Kiev prevents complete registration of foreign real estate in favor of Russia and, accordingly, fully dispose of it. According to the representative office of Alexander Radchenko, Ukraine has sent to foreign countries (where there are disputed property) notes with requests to refrain from re-Soviet property in Russia. In parallel, the Ukrainian representatives appealed to foreign courts. In some cases, they were able to ensure that the process of recognition for the new owner of the property has been frozen. On one such a case, told the former Ukrainian ambassador to Britain Igor Mityukov. “Five years ago in London, we have found 17 buildings of the former Soviet Union who were registered in Russia – cited his” Rossiyskaya Gazeta “. – We have asked the local court, and he has forbidden to sell or rent this property.” Russia has repeatedly tried to obtain from the Ukraine waiver on the Soviet legacy. In early 2009, in particular, the issue of ratification of the “zero option” had surfaced in connection with the request of the Ukrainian government for a loan of five billion dollars (it turned out that as a condition of the Russian side has fielded to settle disputes with Russia’s property outside the former Soviet Union, as well as Ukraine itself). A year later, managing director of President Vladimir Kozhin said that the debate about foreign assets continue to hamper these assets to manage. He also said that the issue of foreign ownership is constantly rising at all levels and in all negotiations. ”

In mid-May, commenting the forthcoming visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Ukraine, manager said that the debate over foreign property can be resolved very soon. “Yes, I think that Medvedev will discuss this issue with President Yanukovich, and I hope that legally, he will be allowed in the very near future”, – he said. Yanukovych himself argues that at the last meeting with Medvedev that he has not discussed this topic. However, it does not matter. The Kremlin in the face of manager of the President clearly expressed his intention to extract concessions from the Ukraine. As well as reluctance to withdraw this topic from the agenda. Follow comments Yanukovych can be evaluated differently. And as the desire to advance to justify himself to voters, and as evidence of ongoing bargaining with Moscow. A bargain, considering the cost of foreign property, which is at stake, may be not so simple. Yanukovych’s team, as the Ukrainian political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko, refers to economic matters even more jealously than the political, and solves them with a calculator in hand. ” It remains to wait until Kiev offer compensation sufficient to ensure that the section of Soviet property Yanukovych seemed fair.

Ukrainian Globalist
2010-05-25 10:42, Economics.

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One comment к “Ukraine wants Russia to return the 23 billion dollars from the Fund of the USSR”

  1. Sergey K Says:


    You need to hire somebody who can do English translations for you in a way that would be understandable for English-speaking audience.

    All the best,

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