Source Pravda.Ru

West Will Pay All The Same

At least for human rights and freedom of mass media freedom Russia
It is quite natural that the West welcomes Russia’s struggle with international terrorism. Russia does it not from far away, but right at home. The latest counter-attack was recently repulsed in the Moscow theatre. However, it is clear that this thought isn’t convenient for the West. Europeans in their comfortable Shengen zone continue to say that Russia is doing things in a wrong way. They are constantly preoccupied with the maintenance of regulations they invented themselves. All of their claims sound as if they treat Russia as a student and they are themselves respected professors in their medieval university mantles. Do they suggest that Russian special forces wear tutus and run around in the Chechen mountains? The Europeans lay down different claims, which one way or the other imply that if Russia wants money to eat, it should dance to Europe’s liberal tune.

The Financial Times reports that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) held a presentation of its new strategy of activity in Russia. The EBRD President Jean Lemier appeals to the Russian government for “a deep democracy, to be precise, constant realization of the principles of pluralism and open society.” At first glance, it is not quite clear what loans from this respected bank have to do with pluralism and Russian society, but this is just at first glance. The EBRD strategy says: if Russia wants foreign investments, it must be more careful with observance of the human rights and freedom of speech. Certainly, the respected bank is above suspicion, but doesn’t it mean the rights of Ahmed Zakayev in a Copenhagen jail and of the female kamikazes in the Moscow theater?

The report on the bank’s new strategy praised the “progress” achieved by Russia. For instance, Jean Lemier gave a high estimate of the economic and judicial reforms carried out by the presidential administration, the reforms designed for “creation of a common political, judicial, and economic area; for establishing a strong, more predictable basis for relations between the center and the regions.” However, the EBRD president thinks that Russia should make more efforts in the struggle against corruption and improve corporate and administrative management. However, this is not that easy to change the style of management in Russia. Only the Bolsheviks were successful with this when they organized the civil war.

Meanwhile, Jean Lemier tries to make Russia understand what we lost when we ignored the recommendations of the EBRD staff. He stated that the EBRD invested over 4.5 billion euros in Russia in 199, which was one-fifth of the total amount of the bank’s investments made in different countries of the world. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, known for its extreme cautiousness, was as active in Russia at that period. However, evidently, Russia didn’t justify the hopes of the bank, and that is why it was deprived of EBRD’s financial benevolence. And the 1998 default in Russia nearly destroyed all sympathies of the respected bank toward Russia’s economy.

We remember that after the 1998 default, Russia behave rather “scandalously” and rejected further loans from the International Monetary Fund. It’s a pity that same wasn’t done with the EBRD. It is an open secret that both give loans only so that their experts can be sent to Russia and receive unbelievably high wages; these credits also allow the IMF and the EBRD to tell Russia from which companies it must buy equipment, not on open markets. Currently, Jean Lemier says that volume of EBRD’s investment in Russia may reach 1 billion euro in 2002. We are grateful, but what’s the point?

Director of the EBRD department for Russia and Central Asia Hubert Pandza, the official who presented the new strategy, promised that in the future, the amount of investments in Russia will make up about one-third of the bank’s total investments in 27 countries of the world (the share used to make up one fifth in 1991). So, although the EBRD is very displeased with Russia, it will give money all the same. Rather strange, by the way. Let them finance Russia if they are in such a hurry to do so. Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2002/7/21/64/2989_investment.html

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