Is it possible that the conflict in Ukraine is really just a front for a Monsanto land grab? Before Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was forcibly removed from office, he had repeatedly rejected agreements and loan packages from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, which padded their deals with conditions that included loosening regulations for Ukraine’s agricultural sector.
When Ukraine’s pro-Western government was placed in office following the 2014 Maidan Revolution, these previously tabled aid packages were suddenly back on the table. One such aid deal was a $3.5 billion package, financed by the World Bank, which imposed neoliberal conditions on Ukraine as a precondition for lending the nation money. Specifically, the World Bank essentially required Ukraine to curtail its own sovereignty by “removing restrictions that hinder competition and by limiting the role of state ‘control’ in economic activities.”
You might be wondering, what does all of this has to do with the current tension between Ukraine and Russia? Put simply, former President Yanukovych did not bend to World Bank and IMF standards. Rather than cave in to EU conditions, he accepted a Russian aid package, proving that his loyalty to Russia was stronger than his allegiance to the EU and its vision of a corporate-friendly Ukraine. As a result, he was booted out of office, and a pro-EU government was swiftly put in place. The new government wasted no time bringing in foreign investment, which, according to the Oakland Institute, is “likely to result in further expansion of large-scale acquisitions of agricultural land by foreign companies and further corporatization of agriculture in the country.”
Predictably, what was touted as a solution to bring democracy and improve the lives of Ukrainians, while providing a sustainable economic future, has not come to pass. Instead, this version of globalist corporate manifest destiny has produced only conflict, heightened international tensions and even the possibility of all-out war between major world powers. The question that needs to be asked is this: How far are we willing to go to further the interests of Monsanto?
Democracy, or corporate oligarchy?
According to the Oakland Institute, the structural reforms imposed on Ukraine by the World Bank and the IMF are only superficially aimed at fostering democracy, development or economic growth. In fact, if you look inside this Trojan Horse, what you see is a back-door means of allowing multinationals easy access to the country’s important and lucrative agricultural sector.
Ukraine boasts seemingly endless fields of fertile black soil that would support high production of grains and cereals, a fact that has earned the country its nickname — the breadbasket of Europe.
In recent years, foreign corporations have been moving into Ukraine in order to take advantage of this seeming windfall. For example, a company listed in Luxembourg holds 405,000 hectares (ha), a French corporation has 120,000 ha, and a stalled agreement with China for 3 million ha of “prime farmland” is being disputed but may still go forward. If honored, China would control “5% of all arable land in Ukraine.”
The Oakland Institute reports that an unnoticed clause in the EU agreement (Article 404) would allow for the use of biotechnologies, despite Ukraine’s own ban on the use of GMOs in agriculture. The clause would essentially allow the agribusiness industry to exploit a loophole in order to produce GM crops on Ukraine’s fertile lands. The Oakland Institute reports the following:
As observed by Michael Cox, research director at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, “Ukraine and, to a wider extent, Eastern Europe, are among the “most promising growth markets for farm-equipment giant Deere, as well as seed producers Monsanto and DuPont.”
The World Bank used programs and projects to influence agricultural reforms that only benefited agribusiness
In 2013, the World Bank selected Ukraine as one of ten nations to take part in a pilot project ranking countries by the ease of doing agricultural business there. The project also involved promoting agricultural reforms, such as the deregulation of seed and fertilizer markets, which some believe is really just a way to open the country up for foreign investment. As the Oakland Institute puts it, it appears that the “Bank’s ranking activities and its loan and reform programs seem to follow a single goal, which is to favor the expansion of large industrial holdings in Ukrainian agriculture owned by foreign entities.”
The German Parliament reported on the issue, as you can see below. The document below discusses the ways that Monsanto is pressuring Ukrainian authorities to relax their standards and regulations concerning the use of biotechnology and GMOs. The Deutscher Bundestag (German Parliament) reported that Monsanto had already invested (in 2014) 140 million towards future production. However, they admit that German firms are also active in landgrabbing in Ukraine. They say that there is a disconcerting trend of landgrabbing (in the fog of Ukrainian conflict) by Ukrainian oligarchs, but also by Western/stock-market-oriented agribusiness, as well as non-Western states.
This document discusses how the EU agreement that had been worked out with Yanukovych mandated a relaxing of standards, particularly concerning GMOs. It details how Ukraine is considered one of most promising new growth markets for Monsanto and DuPont. The European Bank for Rebuilding and Development (Europaische Bank fur Wiederaufbau und Entwicklung, or EBWE) is making credit available for agribusinesses to buy up land in Ukraine, such as Alfred C. Toepfer International. There are also German firms that are participating in the practice of landgrabbing in Ukraine, named in last paragraph.
Essentially, both the United States and Europe are putting lots of money into developing industrial agribusiness assets in Ukraine because of its great potential. In addition to large Ukrainian agribusinesses and Ukrainian oligarchs, Western corporations like Monsanto, DuPont and others are investing large sums in the farming sector.
(S. Johnson | NaturalNews.com)