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25 Nov, 2020 12:37

‘The country will go down the drain’: Saakashvili warns Ukrainian economy facing collapse, won’t be able to pay pensions in 2021

‘The country will go down the drain’: Saakashvili warns Ukrainian economy facing collapse, won’t be able to pay pensions in 2021

The Ukrainian economy is facing an inevitable disaster. That's according to Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, who believes Kiev will soon have trouble fulfilling even the most basic social welfare payments.

Saakashvili, who is the current head of Ukraine’s National Reform Council, told national TV that the country has a huge challenge looming right around the corner.

“The Ukrainian economy is now heading for a big catastrophe. A very strong budget crisis is looming, and Ukraine will have problems with payments of salaries and pensions starting from next year,” he explained, in an interview on Tuesday.

Also on rt.com Ex-Georgian president turned fugitive Saakashvili announces imminent return to Tbilisi, faces 9 years behind bars

The former President of Georgia noted that money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would help in the short term, but said that soon Kiev will struggle with the most basic financial obligations, such as paying salaries and social-security payments.

“This has not happened in Ukraine since the 1990s,” Saakashvili said. “Something needs to be done, or the country will go down the drain.”

Ukraine signed a $5-billion deal with the IMF on June 9, due to be drawn down over 18 months. Thus far, Kiev has received $2.1 billion of this.

Saakashvili's honest evaluation of the Ukrainian economy was praised on the other side of the country’s eastern border, by Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov.

”Saakashvili soberly assessed the situation in Ukraine, saying that its economy is moving towards an inevitable catastrophe,” the Senator wrote on Twitter.

Pushkov also noted the reasons for the economy’s woes, which he blamed on “the gap between trade and the economy,” and listed the reasons.

“Ties with Russia; the failure of the European integration policy; lack of foreign investment. Ukraine lives on handouts – the authorities are inactive."

Saakashvili entered Ukrainian politics in 2015, when he was appointed Governor of Odessa Oblast by then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. A year later, he quit the post, citing corruption, and was later stripped of his recently conferred Ukrainian citizenship. He returned to Kiev in 2019, after newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky restored his citizenship.

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