Eastern Europe

Ukraine’s New Puppet Master Kolomoisky Says Zelenskiy Should Default On IMF Debt

Ukraine's New Puppet Master Kolomoisky Says Zelenskiy Should Default On IMF Debt
Ihor Kolomoyskyi

The Ukrainian oligarch, Igor Kolomoisky, who many believe is the force behind Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, today declared that Ukraine should default on the billions of aid provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and learn from the Greek example for treating creditors.

“In my opinion, we should treat our creditors the way Greece does,” Kolomoisky said in an interview with the Financial Times. “That’s an example for Ukraine.” In its battle with creditors in 2015, Greece became the first developed country that refused to repay an IMF loan, albeit temporarily, he recalled, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

According to Kolomoisky, Zelensky’s landslide victory in the presidential election confirmed that the people of Ukraine want a break from the IMF-mandated austerity reforms and a clampdown on corruption. The voters cited these as their top reasons to vote for the comedian, the businessman explained.

“If Zelensky listens to [the West] and doesn’t make his own appointments he’ll end up like Poroshenko. He’ll have the same poll numbers 5, 10, or 15 instead of 73 per cent,” Kolomoisky said. According to him, the United States and the European Union should write off Ukraine’s external debt. “This is your game, your geopolitics,” he said. “You don’t care about Ukraine. You want to hurt Russia, and Ukraine is just an excuse.”

Kolomoisky recently returned to Ukraine from self-imposed exile in Israel due to fear of prosecution by the administration of former President Petro Poroshenko. The oligarch owns the media company behind the comedy show that made Zelenskiy famous.

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