If up to the middle of the “zero years”, supporters of the European vector of foreign policy at every discussion pointed to the rapidly leveling shares of the CIS and the EU in the Ukrainian trade, now “suddenly” these figures have become “irrelevant”.
It can be said that as the crisis develops in the European Union and, in particular, in the eurozone, the level of discussion by our European integrators is consciously reduced, and their arguments are becoming more and more primitive, calculated on emotions. That is why you will not find in fact any serious economic analysis of the association agreement with the EU on the part of those who support it - the conclusions of any such analysis are unprofitable for our “Europeans”. And infrequent attempts to bring some economic arguments in favor of the European vector as opposed to post-Soviet integration projects are increasingly sinning with superficiality and contain overt, sometimes quite primitive falsifications.
Belarusians are afraid of the Customs Union, but ... love it
Examples of fraud and the substitution of concepts do not count. And in recent months, their number has increased dramatically.
I will give a fresh example. Viktor Taran, an analyst at the Center for Political Studies and Analytics (on his Facebook page, like a child, enjoying pictures with “good anti-Russian propaganda”) broke out on the Ukrainska Pravda website an article with the promising title “Customs Union: Threats to Business”. It would seem that the topic requires a really serious analysis. However, the analyst reduces everything to a brief summary of the research summary (that is, to the summary, and not to the research itself), conducted not so long ago by the Institute for Privatization and Management of Belarus.
If you believe the Ukrainian expert, these conclusions are simply deadly for the Customs Union. It turns out that this study revealed that “membership in the CU creates problems for small and medium-sized businesses, which in fact cannot compete with Russian and Kazakh entrepreneurs.” Taran concludes: “Three quarters of Belarusian businessmen believe that the domestic market is of higher priority for them. I am convinced that the Ukrainian small and medium business in the case of membership in the CU, will be in the same situation as the Belarusian one ... So, should Ukraine choose this short-term perspective and kill its domestic business that is barely alive? I think the answer is obvious. ”
So that you do not doubt, I now actually outlined all the "arguments" given in the "analysis".
The funny thing is that the Belarusian study provides completely different data! And after all, Pan Taran probably read them, but for some reason he carefully “missed” when referring to them.
The fact is that in the study of the above-mentioned Minsk institution there really was a discussion about the hard competition of Belarusian goods with Russian and Kazakh manufacturers, but (which Taran did not notice) on the Russian and Kazakh markets, and not on the internal Belarusian one, which focused Belarusian entrepreneurs on. At the same time, they did not notice that terrible "threat" to their business, which the Ukrainian analyst thought for them. Moreover, 62% of the surveyed Belarusian entrepreneurs indicated that their country's entry into the CU would have a positive effect on the Belarusian business!
And after all Taran saw this figure, which, as we understand, did not fit into his article on the "UE"! Is this "silence" not a fraud?
Forward to the "China Integration" of Ukraine!
For example, Igor Pochinok, editor-in-chief of the Lviv newspaper Express, decided to contribute to the cause of European integration, stating that his newspaper is “among the top five most widely circulated newspapers in Europe” (which, as you might guess, Europe does not even suspect) .
The Lviv editor also discusses the direction in which Ukraine should move, and makes “killer” arguments: “The simple question is: what mobile phones do they produce in Russia today? What computers? Maybe the Russians are doing Mercedes or at least the best refrigerators in the world? With all due respect, Russia is just an old, powerless geopolitical dwarf with exorbitant ambitions, most often unfounded. Everything that our neighbors could give us, we, I hope, understood the results of the last 360 years. We need to thank politely for this school and try - maybe for the first time in life - to understand that we need to strive to deal with those who can give you something. And only the one who has himself can give. ”
One could, of course, ask Mr. Pochink in response to this: what kind of mobile phones or Mercedes cars are being made in Estonia, with which local European integrators are dreaming to unite Ukraine? Or in Latvia, which at the time of the collapse of the USSR was considered almost the most "innovative" republic thanks to a number of factories like the industrial giant VEF, which supplied the equipment to a huge country! Let Mr. Pochinok and his ilk take an interest in whether radio devices are at least made in the 1991 model in Latvia, and civilized Europe taught the Latvians to produce mobile phones or “at least the best refrigerators in the world”.
Look at the site (expres.ua), as now looks like most of the factory buildings of the former "Soviet Silicon Valley" (photo №1).
But back to the logic of the Lviv editor. So, Ukraine needs to strive to where mobile phones, cars, refrigerators are made. And why then to Europe, I would like to ask? Now everyone is doing this primarily in China! So, maybe, on the basis of the same “logic”, to abandon this European integration and throw out the cry of “China integration” of Ukraine? They say that we will unite with the People's Republic of China and we will learn to produce mobile phones from them (there is a lot to learn there!). No, I do not propose this, because it follows from the “logic” of the European integrator from Lviv.
"Voluntary dismissal" as a new technology from the West
The repair is echoed by political analyst Vadim Karasev, who in an interview with the Internet resource "Khvylya" agreed in general to draw a paradise that Europe will bring to the west of Ukraine if the east does not want to become European and collapse. As a colleague’s thought sounds more than confused, I will cite the whole passage verbatim: “A political scientist predicts that if we divide into two parts, then“ Western Ukraine will go forward, it is clear that they know how to work, they do not have metallurgical assets, but they have hands , urban lifestyle. Karasev believes that “West of them (Western Ukraine. - note“ Hvili ”) will take as Slovaks, as the Czechs took, invest money there, build automobile assembly plants, make good land ... And there will not be a latifundia normal farming and they will show how they live. " According to the political analyst, such a flourishing will have a corrupting effect on eastern Ukraine: “Then Eastern Ukraine will have to make a choice: what should we do - either turn into Transdniestria, or should we start doing something, too”.
Those. “To the urban population of Western Ukraine” (well, yes, where is the industrial east there, apparently, much less urbanized, according to Karasev) Europe will build “automobile assembly plants” and make “good land” ... Well, isn't it a beauty ?! So it is tempting to ask: why, then, this west of Ukraine does not want to secede from the east and lives quietly through subsidies received from the industrially developed regions of the east? Funny "argument", right? But it sounds almost on every talk show! Why are there talk shows, experts repeat it in the blue eye on seemingly serious round tables and discussions!
Karasev for more than one year in different audiences talks about how Europe "will bring us new technologies", which, accordingly, cannot be obtained with the Eurasian model of integration. Of course, if Ukraine somehow integrates into Europe!
I have already asked my colleague a question more than once that I did not get an answer to either the talk show or the “round tables” (maybe after the article he answers?): Why do we have to wait for this “if”? After all, Ukraine already has an example of successful "European integration" of our enterprises! I mean the privatization of Krivorozhstal. Well, she came, the long-awaited Europe in the face of the French-Luxembourg-British ArcelorMittal and its owner Lakshmi Mittal, at that time the richest British! AND? Has a lot of "new technologies" since Krivoy Rog? Healed it all in clover?
I have gone through a lot of Kryvorizhstal press releases lately, expecting to stumble upon something sensational of what Vadim Karasev promised. The most recent innovations include the recently completed "overhaul of the canteen No. 3 of the iron and iron foundry shop of the central maintenance and repair department." Now this dining room looks like this (photo №2, taken from the official site of the plant).
No, no kidding, the right thing! But do I understand correctly that Karasev was talking about such new technologies? So let him look into the canteen of the Donetsk Metallurgical Plant or walk there between the fountains with swans, in order to understand: we have such technologies without Europe. It would be the desire of an oligarch ...
Moreover, the Ukrainian oligarchs, however uncivilized they may be, no matter how we curse them (deservedly), still invest at least some funds into the infrastructure of the cities in which their enterprises are located. So, you see, what stadium will be built, then a hospital, then an art exhibition for the workers will be opened. A drop in the sea, of course, but how many such “drops” have we seen from Lakshmi Mittal after he purchased Krivorozhstal?
But this businessman is also one of the largest philanthropists and philanthropists in Britain and his native India! 9 million dollars he invested in ten Indian athletes to prepare for the Olympics. In New Delhi, he founded an expensive Institute of Management. 15 million British pounds (more than 23 million dollars) he invested in one of the London hospitals, which was the largest private contribution to a medical institution for the whole history!
You can continue this list of charity extravagant businessman. Well, will anyone remember a comparable investment in the infrastructure of Krivoy Rog after Ukraine lost Krivorozhstal? Or is the cheap labor of Ukrainian metallurgists working for a different charity?
By the way, in search of “new technologies” on the Europeanized Krivorozhstal, you immediately come across the following, quite fresh announcement of its management: “PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih starts the first phase of the voluntary dismissal program this year”! Yes, yes, it is voluntary dismissal. “The first phase of the program, which applies to employees with at least 3 years in a company, will take place from 18 to 22 February 2013,” says a company press release. - The program of voluntary dismissal is designed to reduce the managerial levels in the enterprise, to reduce the total number of managers, professionals, employees, administrative and business personnel. In 2013, employees of an enterprise whose positions or workplaces are subject to exclusion as a result of the optimization of the organizational structure can also benefit from the terms of the voluntary dismissal program. ”
And the personnel director of the former “Krivorozhstal” happily calms “voluntarily dismissed”: “Voluntary dismissal under the terms of the program is more cost-effective for our employees, rather than dismissal due to staff reductions.”
So, say, "modernization" and "new technologies", gentlemen euro integrators? And why are you silent, that after the “arrival of Europe”, Ukrainian workers and employees will face “voluntary dismissal”, and Ukrainian enterprises - the fate of the Riga WEF?
You would ask the Krivorozhstal employees what it is, European integration. There is now a permanent war with the trade unions, rallies, petitions demanding to deal with the owners. On the website of the local newspaper, when someone started talking about the fact that allegedly the salaries of the new owners increased significantly, one of the users wrote (I keep the writing style): “Regarding the“ NORMAL SALARY ”- what would you have, ***, with my I worked at my salary, taking into account the fact that I got the same in 2004-2005xx - 500у, but I had two times MORE staff and slightly better standards and conditions ... and the most offensive in all of this that no one will help with anything, we now have the same “SHAPITO” as it was in 1905 — 1917's ... ”
As in 1905 — 1917! Well, also significant! Here you can look, Mr. Karasev, at the happy faces of the “European-integrated” workers of the Krivoi Rog enterprise, who for some reason are not overjoyed by the “voluntary dismissals” and “new technologies” (photo №3).
Innovative collars for Ukraine
Surprisingly, an authoritative expert in the field of economics, academician Pavel Gaidutsky, former Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine, decided to add his voice to the choir of rather primitive arguments “for Europe”. In “The Mirror of the Week,” he, referring to the results of a certain research, issued a series of articles “Ukraine and the Customs Union: Problems of Integration” and, accordingly, “Ukraine and the EU: Problems of Integration.”
Regarding the first article, Sergei Lozunko wrote in some detail quite recently on the pages of 2000 (“As arguments“ for ”TS turn into arguments“ against ”, №13 (648) from 29.03 — 04.04.2013 g.), pointing to the frank manipulation of economic calculations and a number of serious omissions, indicating not the most objective approach.
But a special revival among Ukrainian European integrators was caused by the last article of P. Gaidutsky - about the EU. The academic's arguments were gladly picked up by many sites, citing the richly provided figures. And these figures are even more astounding than the statistics disassembled by Sergey Lozunko after the first article of Gaidutsky. Since the origin of this tsifir looks, at least, doubtful.
The author of the article has long compared the economic indicators of Europe and Russia (as a rule, not in favor of Russia). And he is not even embarrassed by the fact that he immediately cites Ukrainian indicators, much weaker than the Russian ones! Moreover, Haidutsky does not indicate any dynamics, indicating that the gap between Russia and Ukraine has been steadily growing over the past few years. Those. Is it bad? Is Russia developing, while Ukraine year after year speaks about European integration and is degrading in all respects!
Having cited these figures, the economist seems to understand that they are not playing in favor of the conclusions already formulated in advance about the need for European integration. For example, in his first article, Haidutsky as a main argument cited the fact that the share of Russia and the CIS in Ukraine’s trade was somehow falling down to the 2008 year. “Ukraine is moving away from the CIS!” - the academician concludes on this basis. And the fact that in recent years the EU’s share in this trade has fallen sharply, and this trend has been steadily continuing for seven years (see diagram No. XXUMX), for some reason does not lead the former minister to a similar conclusion: “Ukraine is moving away from the EU!” or "The EU is moving away from Ukraine!"
For some reason, these figures, which seemed so important and significant to the academic relations between Ukraine and the CU, are receding into the background when it comes to the EU. But the main “argument” is the same myth about the arrival of certain investments and technologies from the West in implementation of European integration projects. Haidutsky writes: “The economic attractiveness of the European Union for Ukraine consists, first of all, in the opportunity to join the high culture of efficient market economy and raise its own economy to the same level. Europe is one of large-scale solvent and innovative markets that many countries of the world are trying to master and fill in, including the USA, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Russia ... This conclusion is very important in the context of comparing the integration choice Of Ukraine: either the EU as an “innovative” formation, or the CU (Customs Union) as a “raw” formation? ”
An interesting conclusion. China and Brazil, of course, want to master the European market (in fact, like the African, and Russian, and American). But they do not join the EU and do not sign agreements with the European Union on enslaving conditions!
And about the “innovation” that should come from the EU, in addition to the above, one can cite the academician no less illustrative example described recently by political analyst Dmitry Vydrin: “Recently I met with the leaders of the Italian parliament. One of them, an elegant signor, straight from the songs of Celentano, reassuringly remarked: “Your country has great potential for cooperation with the EU. There are good factories. For example, Yuzhmash could make excellent collars for dogs. ”
Yes, well, we do not remember unless our industrial giants of the defense department switched to such “collars” for quite modest means in the West? All this was called the beautiful word "conversion." Factories that produced shells and rocket launchers switched to the production of hangers and packaging. Then it turned out that the hangers were not really needed by anyone, the crumbs allocated for conversion quickly dried up, and on the site of these factories now - at best entertainment centers and supermarkets, if not ruins. Innovation, speak?
Figures from the European ceiling
But the most important and paradoxical from the point of view of common sense point in the description of the pleasures of European integration in Haidutsky is associated with ... labor migration from Ukraine, that is, in fact, with the evacuation of Ukrainians from their native land!
And here, the distinguished academician uses numbers, the origin of which is in serious doubt. And indirectly, he himself recognizes their doubtfulness: “According to unofficial data, the majority of Ukrainians work in Russia, but according to official data, on the contrary: more in the EU, and three times ... So, the main and, most importantly, more legal labor market, Ukrainian labor migrants see in the European Union. " This conclusion, based on certain "official data", is highlighted in bold by the academician himself, that is, as I understand it, the author of the study attaches special importance to it.
First of all, you involuntarily ask yourself a question: if the author of the study himself acknowledges the existence of certain (supposedly “unofficial”) data that the majority of Ukrainians still work in Russia, how does this fit in with the main conclusion, then? And secondly, the origin of these “official” data is completely unclear, since according to all studies (including those to which Haidutsky refers in his work), “unofficial” data on the choice of Ukrainians in Russia as the main place of earnings are confirmed!
“The main place to receive domestic labor is Russia,” the analytical report “Population and Labor Emigration in Ukraine,” prepared by the Institute for Demography and Social Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the State Statistics Committee (that is, completely official structures), clearly stated.
According to another 2008, almost half of the Ukrainian workers in the country worked (48,1%) in Russia. In all EU countries combined, this proportion was lower. But it's no secret that with the 2008 crisis, many Ukrainian migrants were forced to leave a number of EU countries (primarily from Italy and Portugal). And according to all the data, the “Russian” share has increased even more since then.
Why is the data of Haidutsky so sharply diverged from the official (think about it, he argues that there are three times more “workers in the EU” in the EU than in Russia)? With what it can be connected?
But even more dubious data cited by the academician are related to remittances, which are carried out by these very “workers”. Haidutsky writes: “The situation with the remittances of Ukrainian labor migrants from abroad is even more impressive. From the EU countries to Ukraine each year from labor migrants receives about 15 billion euros. This amount is three times the amount of such transfers from Russia. ”
And again, the author concludes: “Based on the real possibilities of Ukraine in providing employment and incomes of the population, such a high migration status of the EU for Ukrainians is undoubtedly positive. The choice and realization of these opportunities - for ordinary people. This is the choice of the right to work, the best earnings, the best life and welfare. What is the main civilizational value for people. This choice is obvious - it is European. ”
We will come back to this “obvious” conclusion, but now about basic data that are more than not obvious and even contradict official data, including those cited by representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to which Haidutsky refers.
I quote these data: “According to the International Organization for Migration in Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy, 3 — 3,5 million of our fellow citizens work abroad ... From the CIS countries, 40,1% of transfers come (in money). The lion's share (88%, or $ 2,7 billion) comes from Russia. From the EU - 34,5% ($ 2,6 billion). Another 9,5% of funds (more than $ 700 million), our receive from relatives from the United States. "
Those. 40% of remittances, according to official data, come to Ukraine from the CIS, and 34,5% - from the European Union! How the academician, basing the main conclusions on completely opposite data, did not notice these figures, is not clear.
After all, there is also the official data of the National Bank of Ukraine, which completely refutes the arguments of Haidutsky: 2012% of all remittances from abroad to Ukraine came from Russia to 36,2, then the USA followed (9,3%), and from all EU countries less than a third all translations.
And this is despite the fact that average salaries in the EU are higher than in Russia. From which we can conclude that the Ukrainian “foreign workers” in Europe work in much less qualified, less paid positions than their counterparts working in Russia. By the way, this is confirmed by the findings of the report “Population and Labor Emigration in Ukraine,” which I quoted above. According to these data, the overwhelming majority of the “workers in the underground” in Russia are residents of Ukrainian cities, and in the Czech Republic and Italy there are villages. Those. more skilled cadres go to Russia, earning more than their rural “comrades in misfortune”.
Going to a foreign land is such happiness
Why in misfortune? Well, what else can be called a situation in which millions of Ukrainians are forced to leave their families, to break away from their homes, to go on a not-so-big salary in distant lands to feed their children? In my opinion, it is difficult to call happiness.
Difficult, but it turns out you can! In any case, Mr. Haidutsky, in his research, is almost the main achievement of European integration for Ukraine, and it’s precisely the opportunity for citizens to leave Ukraine itself for good in the EU! Only a completely natural question arises: is it a plus for European integration or, conversely, a challenge to the existence of Ukraine as such?
This is also the conceptual difference between the models of integration that the Customs Union and Europe offer us. If Moscow tells us: “Let us together protect our markets, our producers, trade among themselves products made in our factories, thereby saving our industry”, what do we hear from Europe? And from Europe, we are clearly made to understand: Ukraine needs only cheap, unskilled labor to support the local industry. And that's it!
And note that, for the Europeans themselves, this is evident, as evidenced by the recent interview of former Polish President A. Kwasniewski to Wprost magazine. Without hesitating, he calls Ukrainians "a convenient (read - cheap. - Auth.) Labor force" for the Poles, explaining: "We are interested in this, because today there are several hundred thousand Ukrainians working in Poland, replacing to a large extent two million Poles, left for the West. Moreover, the Ukrainian emigration to Poland is convenient, since it does not generate conflicts, - religious, civilizational - no. To be honest, they are from our point of view the easiest, most enjoyable migration that we need. ” Very frankly, is not it? Those. Poles who have gone to work as plumbers in London and Paris need even cheaper plumbers. And Ukraine is the most convenient source for this. What "innovations" are we talking about here?
The most revealing thing in this interview is not even Kwasniewski's revelations, but the reaction of a journalist who is surprised: what is the special secret here, it is so! For the Poles - this is obvious! They, already accustomed to the fact that the lion’s share of their industrial giants ordered to live long, and millions of Poles became “workers” in a foreign land, consider this formulation of the question to be normal. They say that since we live this way and do not complain, then poor Ukrainians in general should see in their dreams the sweet prospect of becoming a servant in Polish families.
Ukrainian sociologist Yevgeny Kopatko, who had recently returned from Strasbourg, said on the air that representatives of the European Parliament and European experts were perplexed by the very question about the demographic risks associated with the departure of millions of Ukrainians to Europe as cheap labor. Those. European officials do not even imagine that someone in Ukraine should be concerned about Ukraine itself, if there is a sweet prospect for Ukrainians to replace “Polish plumbers”!
But okay European officials. It is surprising that Ukrainian analysts are not concerned with this, who frankly say the same thing, but also present the massive departure of Ukrainians to a foreign land as a boon to the country.
"The Ukrainian authorities choose between default and the Customs Union!"
Returning to the report of Academician Haidutsky, it should be noted that he, citing dubious figures and making even more dubious (but “obvious” for him) conclusions from them, still feels that their economic justification is clearly lame. And so, in the end, forgetting that he cited several newspaper strips of charts with statistical calculations, suddenly sums up: “In the European direction, civilization values for Ukraine have a much higher priority over economic ones than in the Eurasian ... For Ukraine, the European and Eurasian options - this is the polarity of civilization choice ... In civilization terms, the Eurasian choice can be as tragic for Ukraine as the socialist choice in 1917 for Russia ”.
Here are the times! If in the end not economic indicators, but arguments about civilization choice prevail, then why was it necessary to give so many dubious figures ?! It was necessary to recall the choice made by Vladimir the Great, Bogdan Khmelnitsky, Sidor Kovpak, the Ukrainian people and the course of development of civilization as a whole! And if a respected economist believes that these examples are not a subject for consideration by economists, then why should he get into emotional evaluations, replacing economic analysis with his vision of civilization?
This funny ending reminded me of a recent episode. On TVi, we were arguing about Ukraine’s foreign policy orientation with the famous economist Alexander Pashaver. After I gave economic calculations, testifying to the benefits of Ukraine joining the Customs Union, leading (understandably, also opponents of the Eurasian vector of integration) demanded from the economist "the subsequent exposure of black magic." To which, unexpectedly for the audience, Paskhaver began to brush aside economic calculations and ... also spoke of a “civilizational choice.”
In response, I turned to the public: “Do you know why an economist refuses to talk about economic categories? I will quote you now one clever thought of one stupid economist, and you will understand everything. I quote: “The Ukrainian authorities choose between default and the Customs Union!” Do you know who is the author of these words? (The audience froze in anticipation.) Alexander Paskhaver! ”
It seems to be the reason for the sudden refusal of Ukrainian European integrators from pragmatic conversations and economic calculations in favor of more emotional, often devoid of common sense and equipped with frank juggling conversations. The fact that common sense is a pragmatist, sober economic calculation - all this testifies in favor of Ukraine’s early accession to the Customs Union. Well, since the facts show this, well ... So much the worse for these facts - from the point of view of supporters of the European vector of development of Ukraine.