Zelensky's year: president's success, Ukraine's defeat

RISS expert Oleg Nemensky underscored that 2019 was a rather successful year for Ukrainian President V.Zelensky. "Zelensky has won a landslide victory. This will make it much easier for him to continue his work as a president," he added.

Firstly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $5.5 billion stand-by aid agreement for Ukraine. This amount is equal to the Ukrainian debt to the IMF. This means debt restructuring, and Ukraine will not declare default. Secondly, Naftogaz managed to reach an agreement with Gazprom. Moscow and Kiev have signed a five year gas-transit contract, so the future increase in gas prices for Ukrainians will not happen. O.Nemensky pointed out that this agreement would be broken, as it had happened before.

As for the recent Normandy format talks, both radical nationalist and "pro-Eastern" Ukrainian experts have given a very positive assessment of the summit results. Now Zelensky and his party the Servant of the People have a 60% approval rating among Ukrainian citizens. "The Ukrainian government has maintained its unity. This is a big plus for the entire political system," RISS expert believes.

"However, all these political victories are not the merit of Zelensky himself. The loan from the IMF was approved under U.S. pressure. Gazprom-Naftogaz agreement on gas is directly related to the U.S. sanctions against companies involved in building Nord Stream 2. The successful Normandy format talks in Paris are the result of Zelensky's support by German and French leaders. And the main fact is that Ukrainian politics totally depends on American billionaire G.Soros. So, all these victories were given to Zelensky by external partners. What do they want in return? This is already known: the introduction of the land turnover and the implementation of a privatization program. Due to the support of partners, the new Ukrainian government will be able to carry out various reforms that will hit Ukraine's economy and people hard," O.Nemensky said.

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