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Ukraine, IMF and toxic debt dependency

Vortrag und Diskussion | 24.06.2019 | 18:00 Uhr | Forum Transregionale Studien

Bildquelle: Prisma Ukraïna

Bildquelle: Prisma Ukraïna

The talk "Ukraine, IMF and toxic debt dependency" by Dr. Yuliya Yurchenko, University of Greenwich.

Discussant: Dr. Mihai Varga, Osteuropa-Institut | Free University Berlin

The talk and the commentary will be followed by a discussion. After the discussion we invite you to a reception.

If you wish to participate, please register: prisma@trafo-berlin.de


In its 25 years of de jure independence Ukraine became the third largest borrower by amount of outstanding debt with IMF and was among the countries hit hardest the global financial crisis of 2007-9. Credit Crunch and the Great Recession theorisations are permeated with north-centrism i.e. focus on the rooting in the real estate bubbles of the global north.

While financilaisation and its fragility were northern phenomenon, they spread and played out quite differently in mid-income countries with low financialisation, mortgage uptake and household indebtedness rates.

Aggravating factors rested in the localised historically entrenched politico-economic discrepancies. It is the interaction of the trajectories of financialisation and economic development conditioned by global political economic dimension that led to the gravity of the crisis.

Weakened by a civil armed conflict, corrupt state administration apparatus and paralised by excesses of the debt burden Ukraine’s economy is showing few signs of recovery while continues to accumulate loans with increasingly draconian structural adjustment requirements. Simultaneously the standard of life, poverty, and inequality are at their highest to date. The combination of ill-prescribed market transition reforms and loaned funds mismanagement and misappropriation by kleptocratic ruling bloc have resulted in a toxic debt dependency that has become a tool for manipulation in the renewed geopolitical confrontation between Russian and the USA/EU. In this presentation, Yuliya Yurchenko shows that debt geopolitics costs Ukraine its residual de facto sovereignty and undermines possibilities for stabilisation of geopolitical order. Yuliya Yurchenko historicises formation of debt excesses in parallel with erosion of the country’s sovereignty. She examines the role of the financial crisis of

2007-9 in forging Ukraine’s dependency on foreign debt. She follows with analysis of debt as a geopolitical tool in Ukraine’s foreign relations, exploration of the post-2013/4 extremes of foreign debt dependency, transforming format of Ukraine-IMF relations and the effective erosion of Ukraine’s sovereignty.


Zeit & Ort

24.06.2019 | 18:00 Uhr

Forum Transregionale Studien
Wallotstrasse 14, 14193 Berlin

Weitere Informationen


  • Berlin
  • credit
  • debt
  • Eastern Europe
  • financial crisis
  • Finanzkrise
  • Great Recession
  • IMF
  • Mihai Varga
  • Osteuropa
  • Osteuropa-Institut
  • Prisma Ukraina
  • Russia
  • Schulden
  • Ukraine
  • Yuliya Yurchenko