I visited Kyiv March 11 – 14 and participated in the Emergency Economic Summit for Ukraine at which I discussed the pros and cons of the central bank following currency board rules or inflation targeting. My paper on the subject will appear in a few weeks in the Cayman Financial Review, but the introductory paragraphs give a quick picture of the domestic (not external Russian issues) political situation. I reproduce those here:
The recent protests leading to the replacement of the government of Victor Yanukovych, reflect a widely held desire for the rule of law and normal individual freedoms and dignity. The few thousands who demonstrated in the Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv starting November 21, 2013 following the surprise refusal of then President Yanukovych to sign Association and Free Trade Agreements with the EU, swelled to almost one million by early December in response to deadly police attacks on the demonstrating students. The Ukrainian public, countrywide, is outraged at the corruption of its government and wants a new direction more reflective of western values.
President Yanukovych was removed from office on February 22 by a vote of 328 of 447 members of the Ukrainian parliament. Ukraine’s leadership has changed a number of times since the collapse of the Soviet Union without any significant or enduring change in governance and corruption. More than the head of state needs to change. Having been disappointed by the outcome of the Orange revolution, the demonstrators remain distrustful of any new government with old faces. The barricades and tents of the Euromaidan demonstrators remain in place, and their occupants vow to stay to monitor the new government at least until the Presidential elections scheduled for May 25.