Former Ukrainian Finance Minister had hired US lobbyists to help debt restructuring
Before signing an agreement between Ukraine and foreign private creditors on restructuring the debt, the government of Ukraine employed American lobbyists to promote its position, as stated in an article in Ukrayinska Pravda titled ‘Battle for Washington. Lobby of Yatsenyuk-Jaresko.’
Lobbying services were provided by an influential company, APCO Worldwide Inc., which has 600 employees in 35 countries and almost 120 million dollars of revenue in 2015. Its management mostly consists of former governmental officials, politicians and ambassadors, specializing in "crises of governance and sensitive political issues."
This company has attracted the attention of leading U.S. media outlets to the Ukrainian issue. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Voice of America, Reuters, CNN and Bloomberg all interviewed the then Minister of Finance of Ukraine, Natalie Jaresko, who they called the "star minister." Jaresko discussed the necessity of restructuring in a number of leading institutions.
Lobbying for this governmental "success" cost $120,000. The invoice for a year of APCO Worldwide PR firm’s services was paid by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress after approval by its president, Paul Grod.
Jaresko explained that she chose this company because she knew its representative, Thomas Eymond-Laritaz, very well. In Ukraine, he is well-known for serving as President of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation from 2006 to 2009.
"I have personally known Thomas Eymond-Laritaz for many years, long before he became president of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation," she said in a comment to Ukrayinska Pravda.
APCO Worldwide Inc. estimated its contribution to the Ukrainian issue as "a savings of 3.8 billion dollars for Ukraine." "The salvation of the country from an economic collapse," according to the American lobbyists, was ensured by the "support of the International Monetary Fund and restructuring of the public debt."
As is known, Yatsenyuk’s government insisted that it had achieved restructuring on favorable conditions for Ukraine. At the same time, experts have argued that the contract contains a lot of negatives for the Ukrainian economy.