Crux Quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's Economic Recovery

Crux quotes Eric LeCompte on Ukraine's economy recovery. Read the full article here.

Catholic expert says if you want to help Ukraine, restructure its debt

By John Lavenburg

“In order for Ukraine to get through the current crisis in terms of recovery and its economy, it’s essential they have access to resources. One of those resources is being able to have debt relieved and restructured, in addition to whatever kind of other aid they could get,” Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told Crux.

Ukraine’s total debt is about $94.5 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund. LeCompte said that as Ukraine faces the crisis of the Russian invasion, there are important steps the IMF, World Bank, and United States can take to alleviate some of its economic challenges.

Ukraine’s debt to the IMF is about $13.4 billion, more than $2 billion of which has to be paid this year unless it’s restructured.

“That’s a particular action the IMF has to look at now, and it would send a strong political signal in support of Ukraine if they were to restructure and move those debt payments to the future,” LeCompte said. “Even if they don’t act now, it’s very likely it’ll be something they have to do [eventually], because Ukraine isn’t going to have the money to pay that debt.”

Of the numerous, tough sanctions that the U.S. and world have placed on Russia in recent weeks, LeCompte said that “in the short term it’s something good to put pressure, but we also need to recognize that in some ways they’re kind of blunt instruments.” He added that the way the global system is set up will ultimately limit the amount of resources Ukraine receives.

“It’s unfortunate that we lack the tools and the financial system to really be able to support countries in crisis because all of the actions that we can take, which are important, are piecemeal, and without some kind of adequate bankruptcy and aid process we’re not going to be able to deliver the full amount of resources Ukraine needs,” LeCompte said.