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The news from Davos……the Ukrainian Cabinet reshuffle timetable

January 22, 2016

Though it is tempting to forget Ukraine for the day and comment upon the now published Livinenko public inquiry in the UK, and mull what, if any, UK response will be forthcoming to an inquiry that publicly announced what everybody has already believed for nearly a decade, the blog will stick to home turf.

Thus one of many statements from Davos will be plucked from a multitude of possibilities.

The chosen statement comes from Christine LaGrarde which indicates that the next IMF tranche to Ukraine seems very likely to appear at the beginning of February.

imf

The significance this time goes beyond the macroeconomics of the Ukrainian nation.

It has long been quite obvious that despite the imminent Cabinet reshuffle having been muted as long ago as the Autumn of 2015, the political thinking has deemed it necessary to firstly secure the IMF tranche – just in case the reshuffle has unintended and destabilising consequences for the dysfunctional coalition beyond that expected among the Ukrainian establishment.

Hence the “when”, the “outs” and the “ins”, the “possibles”, the “probables”, the “improbables”, the “scope”, the “depth”, and the overly proclaimed “difficulties” in arriving at “suitable candidates” – also known as stalling.  IMF funds first, reshuffle thereafter, and then deal with any expected or unexpected fallout over the coming weeks and months when the new Cabinet is unveiled.

Thus, once the IMF funds safely arrive, it will come as no surprise if suddenly, and as if by magic, a sudden focus and swift implementation of the reshuffle occurs – but a reshuffle that will remain “problematic/difficult” for “internal coalition reasons” until the funds arrive.

The domestic political timetable therefore, is IMF tranche early February, Cabinet reshuffle accomplished within a fortnight of the funds arriving, and sometime after that, perhaps a return to the reform agenda?

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