Strategic vision of New Ukraine

Strategic vision of New Ukraine

By  Volodymyr Ariev,  Roman Sulzhyk

Published April 19

The destroyed Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo aircraft, which was the largest plane in the world. It was destroyed on day of Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. The aircraft was unique to the world, at 84 meters long and could transport up to 250 tonnes of cargo at a speed of up to 850 kilometres per hour. (Photo by Genya SAVILOV / AFP)

Once this war is over with our victory, the next steps are clear,  how to rebuild and construct a new country afterward. And this touches upon not just infrastructure facilities, as we need to change everything. Ukraine cannot remain the same if we want to survive. Moreover, preservation of the same things as we had before means defeat for all our dreams and aspirations. 

The essence of our European future is not only flat roads and modern buildings. The essence of the post-war state is to be different from our aggressive neighbor, with its medieval perceptions. We have to be anti-Russia to beat out Moscow’s plan of the dark renaissance of the USSR.

This text is an early bird in future discussions, though it is not too early. We’re afraid of missing out and it will then be too late. These are some bullet points outlining the strategic objectives for rebuilding Ukraine after the war. In effect, it is what the country should look like in 2030-2035. There will be many tactical decisions regarding how to rebuild and direct internal resources and international aid. Having a strategic vision will help to make those decisions better. So, here goes.

Strategic goals

  • Ukraine has the strongest standing military in Europe, to deter and/or repel any future Russian aggression. This is the number one goal that is essential to both European and Ukrainian security. This policy can only change once we have joined NATO or Russia is completely denazified and demilitarized. No compromise on that.
  • Ukraine is fully accepted as a member of the European Union. This means that all work on reconstruction and rebuilding should be carried out according to EU standards and ideally under the EU’s direct supervision. Real, uncompromising judicial reform is top of the list.
  • Ukraine is decentralised economically but not yet politically, in order to avoid the risk of separatism. Regional governors remain centrally appointed. However, there is a big degree of freedom for regions to set their own local taxes and put forward various incentives to businesses operating in their regions.
  • Ukraine is fully integrated into international capital markets – full convertibility of the Hryvna, EU banks operate in Ukraine under their home license similar to the EU “bank passport” regime.
  • Zero tolerance of corruption, massively strengthened anti-corruption institutions. Decision-makers, including top level government officials, are paid market salaries and are thoroughly monitored.

Some tactical issues to consider in the near future 

It is important to ensure that other claimants to Russian frozen assets – international bondholders, Yukos, etc, are placed lower in the recovery queue than Ukraine’s It is morally wrong for bondholders, whose lending of capital to Russia indirectly enabled this aggression, to be in same priority as victims;

  • Russia needs to remain cut off from international capital markets and businesses for a long time after the war is over, because the moment that the hostilities stop it will begin restoring its international ties and preparations for the next attack on Ukraine. One way to ensure this is to require mandatory disclosure of exposure to Russia by all publicly-traded firms. That way investors and consumers will be able to possess information and put pressure on companies to stop having any business with Russia for years to come;
  • Strict prohibition of supplying dual-use technologies to Russia, and measures to prevent third countries from helping Russia to circumvent these restrictions;
  • In order to speed up payment of damages and investigate war crimes, a special tribunal will need to be established – all other existing legal avenues are lacking in enforcement capacity and are too lengthy. Claims regarding Ukraine’s Crimea have been investigated for 7 years and there is still no restitution. Ukraine cannot wait so long after this aggression to be made whole;
  • Using seized Russian assets to pay one million euros compensation to survivors of each person killed by Russia will have both a massive economic effect on Ukraine’s recovery and be appropriate punishment for this war of choice;
  • Any rebuilding efforts need to be mutually controlled by the EU and Ukraine. In line with the strategic goal of an economically decentralised country, it would make sense for rebuilding to be carried out by many regional offices, potentially each with different EU country supervising it. So as to ensure correct spending of funds, the “four eyes” principle can be applied – whereas local offices work out the specifications of projects and conduct tenders, an EU office approves the winning contractor and disburses the funds;
  • Business claims against Russia need to be documented and pooled together. One way of getting recovery would be to have a joint claim against Russia on behalf of businesses, all recovered monetary are paid directly into the budget, and each business receives a tax credit for the amount of losses recovered on its behalf from Russia – so effectively, it would not pay any taxes to the government until that credit is run down. This will encourage businesses to continue operating, and is much more effective than paying money directly to business owners.

These are obviously just some initial ideas to start off a discussion both within Ukraine and with our international allies. But our goal is clear. We want to build a New Ukraine, that will be a proud member of the European family and a bulwark of security in Europe for decades to come.

Volodymyr Ariev, MP.

Roman Sulzhyk, former JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank banker, currently an independent member of Supervisory Board of state-owned Privatbank

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Kyiv Post.

5 comments

  1. “Using seized Russian assets to pay one million euros compensation to survivors of each person killed by Russia will have both a massive economic effect on Ukraine’s recovery and be appropriate punishment for this war of choice.”

    Excellent idea. Do it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nice thoughts. I can only wish it would happen!!! I do hope that after this war, the corruption may stop and people start thinking about the country rather then their own individual greed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When the clock strikes 10 on the day of Putin’s Victory Parade, there should be 4 Mig-29s loaded with cluster bombs hitting Red Square. That would be a troll to beat all trolls, and richly deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Add a strike force of Ukrainian Special Forces in MI-24s and capture Shoigu and Putin and bring them back to Kyiv in chains. then he can execute his historic duty in the crowbar hotel.

      Like

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