Dmitry Kondrashov: Ukraine will have to prove Russia that it needs the former
Dmitry Kondrashov, analyst and editor-in-chief of “The Baltic World” magazine, is confident that Ukraine will have to prove its worth to Russia in case of accession of the former to the Customs Union since Ukraine’s northern neighbor has no extra money to throw in attempt to support the economy of Ukraine.
This opinion was expressed by the Russian expert during the conference “Future economic development of Ukraine in the context of the integration processes” in Kiev.
"Russia has a huge economic problem - in terms of GDP and income levels Russia already passed the lower bar of developed countries. Meanwhile, all the economic management is currently built around developing country model. We now are doomed to the same growth rate as, for example, Germany. We do not know how to live with it; our management system is not ready for the challenge. Russian budget exists outside the framework of oil super-profits because oil revenues are channeled out of the Russian economy into some welfare funds. In this sense, Russian economy has limited extra money to lead any integration processes and a very strong motivation is required,” believes Kondrashov.
According to him, for the last year integration advocates have lost about 15% in Russia. While the so-called autonomists upped their numbers by 20%.
"People no longer understand why we need to persuade someone. Dmitry Rogozin talked about building new missile facility in the Far East from scratch. For Ukraine this is a challenge - it's not just the loss of markets and cooperation, it is also the loss of employees. Because we have already learnt to buy people and experts and we can provide a good apartment for specialists from Kharkov or Dnepropetrovsk. Currently Russia has only one technology-related link with Ukraine - manufacture of avionics for helicopter industry. In all the other segments Russia is either prepared or have already found import substitution. Question arises - what do I personally get from integration with Ukraine, wouldn’t Ukraine take away the jobs from my children?” asks the magazine editor.
"Getting into the Customs Union will require serious work on part of Ukraine, there will be big questions for Ukraine, it will have to modernize its economy," concludes the analyst.