Letter: Self-interested motives for Western aid to Russia

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Sir: The article 'Disaster looms as Ukraine stumbles from one crisis to another' (30 December) suggests that everything is so negative in Ukraine that it is doomed to become 'one of Europe's most dangerously unstable regions in 1994'. This is simply not the case.

If one were to collect together all the 1993 Western press reports, Ukraine would have been dismembered, devoured by Russia, lurched into civil war, experienced martial law, undergone a total economic collapse and declared bankruptcy. Yet none of these scenarios has occurred or is likely to.

Ukraine, together with the remainder of the former Soviet republics, is undoubtedly undergoing many difficulties. To date, it is one of only two of the 15 republics that has experienced no ethnic unrest. In comparison to the trans- Caucasus, central Asia and Moldova, Ukraine is an oasis of stability.

The secession of numerous autonomous regions from Russia and the election victory of fascists and Communists hardly testifies to a stable Russia either, or, indeed, the success of shock-therapy economic reform.

Yours faithfully,


Director, Ukraine Business


London, SW1

31 December