The Nation


Letters to the Editor

Debt is Ukraine's big worry; Thais should take note

Despite having worked in that part of the world while in the US military and having lived there later on my own, I have very little interest in the current travails of Ukraine, which has had more than two decades to adjust to the post-Soviet world, but which instead has racked up more than US$100 billion in debt. If Ukrainians have less debt than that, then please correct me.

The lesson for Thailand in all of this is clear to me. Debt is the issue. The EU and US have emasculated themselves with overwhelming debt, Ukraine adds more misery to that debt and others desperately need some of Russia's wealth to make things work in Ukraine - hence the seemingly timid response to Russia's move on Crimea.

The primary foreign policy talent of US leaders these days seems to be to destabilise countries and wreck their economies - and woe to anyone who does not heed the warning. But if Russia's economy were to be wrecked, then there would be less available for Ukraine, and others are unlikely to be able to make up the difference easily.

Ukrainian debt might actually eventually cause the unravelling of the EU, which is a not-so-secret desire of some US politicians.

In any case, please stay away from such debt, Thailand.

Guy Baker


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