Anders Aslund

  • Q&A: Will Ukraine Face a Serious Financial Crisis If It Doesn’t Get IMF Money Before November?

    Central bankers and economists are sounding the alarm in Kyiv, Ukraine. The Finance Ministry’s account balance has fallen to its lowest level in four years. The hryvnia is falling fast now, and fell nearly 4 percent over the last three weeks. Eurobond sales and foreign aid could remedy the cash-flow problem, but the International Monetary Fund’s next disbursement has been delayed for more than a year over foot dragging on reforms. Acting Finance Minister Oksana Markarova says that a deal is very close, but there are still differences to be worked out before the IMF releases the next $1.9 billion tranche.

    We asked UkraineAlert experts and friends the following: Will Ukraine face a serious financial crisis if it does not get any IMF money before November?

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  • Russia Braces For 'Crushing' New Sanctions Over Electoral Interference

    On August 8, the Russian newspaper Kommersant published a draft of what they claim is the new Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKAA), a bill US senators introduced on August 2 that aims to punish Moscow for its interference in American elections, its continued support for the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, and the illegal annexation of Crimea.

    US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the new sanctions were necessary because existing measures had “failed to deter Russia from meddling in the upcoming 2018 elections,” and that these sanctions would be in place...

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  • Which New US Sanctions on Russia Are Likely?

    The US Congress has prepared numerous bills proposing new sanctions on Russia. Congress reacted sharply against President Donald Trump’s desire to ease existing sanctions. On July 28, 2017, the Senate voted 98-2 for the Combating America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which Trump quietly signed into law. CAATSA legislated already adopted sanctions on Russia, so that Trump could not cancel them by executive order. It tightened some sanctions and offered the administration various options to further tighten sanctions. Many members of Congress complain that the administration has done too little, calling for a tougher sanctions law. Trump’s press conference with Putin in Helsinki on July 16 convinced most that a new Russia sanctions law is needed.

    Congress is focused on primarily four bills. All of them deal with Russia alone.

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  • How the United States Can Combat Russia's Kleptocracy

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    Over the past eighteen years, Vladimir Putin has perfected a peculiar style of rule in Moscow. A product of the KGB, Putin quickly appointed many of his siloviki colleagues to senior positions in the government shortly after coming to power. Once in office, his associates enriched themselves by looting state resources and seizing vulnerable private resources. The quest for economic gain also opened the door to cooperation between senior government officials and organized crime.

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  • Aslund Quoted in Reuters on Trump's Threat of Sanctions on Turkey


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  • Russia's Interference in the US Judiciary

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    Under President Vladimir Putin, lawlessness has taken over the Russian state, including its law enforcement branch. Putin’s system and its proxies are exploiting both the domestic and international legal system to their own benefits. In the latest issue brief from the Atlantic Council and the Eurasia Center, “Russia’s Interference in the US Judiciary,” Anders Aslund analyzes how this system stands in sharp contrast to Western rule of law, but it utilizes the Western financial and legal system to its own benefit. The US justice system needs to address this exploitation of the US...

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  • Aslund Quoted in CBS News on Russian Sanctions


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  • Q&A: Will Trump Give Away Crimea at Helsinki?

    On June 29, President Donald Trump told reporters that he hasn’t ruled out recognizing Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea in 2014. Trump is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16 and many worry that he may gamble away Crimea.

    US policy on Crimea has been consistent since 2014, and was clearly articulated by the State Department spokeswoman on the anniversary of Crimea’s annexation: “Crimea is part of Ukraine and our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

    UkraineAlert asked its experts and friends the following: Will President Donald Trump give away Crimea at Helsinki on July 16? Is this a real...

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  • How to Keep the Kremlin and the Oligarchs Out of the Ukrainian White House

    The other night in Kyiv, one of Ukraine’s best political analysts came to see me. He asked me what the United States wants in the next Ukrainian presidential election slated for March 2019. I told him that the United States doesn’t have a favorite. Nor will it.

    My interlocutor was highly dissatisfied with the answer. But why doesn’t the West pick their choice and invest $150-250 million in its candidate as is required to win an election? Both the Russians and the oligarchs do so. Why aren’t the Americans rational? Another expert claimed that a popular candidate can win the presidency with only $40-50 million, but that is also big money. By comparison, a Swedish parliamentary election campaign costs $12 million and a German one $90 million. Those amounts include all the parties.

    We went on to discuss Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch who is considered Putin’s foremost agent in Ukraine. He was one of the first people the United States sanctioned over...

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  • Aslund Quoted in Reuters on Rusal's Escape of U.S. Sanctions


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