Ukraine’s new leaders deserve praise for some of the moves they have made since coming to power after Viktor Yanukovych abandoned the presidency on Feb. 22. But they will need lots of outside help in managing the multiple political, economic and military crises confronting Ukraine.
(London) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) new draft Environment and Social Policy would fail to weed out abusive development projects, seven human rights and bank watchdog organizations said today in a joint statement. The bank’s consultation on the draft policy closes on March 5, 2014. It then has an opportunity to revise the policy before sending it to the bank’s board for approval in the coming months.
The EBRD loan for the Kolubara lignite mine project in Serbia was approved when the forced removal of the local graveyard of the Vreoci community was already initiated and in spite of protests and appeals to the EBRD and in spite of on-going corruption investigations of the company. This case offers important lessons learned for the Environmental and Social Policy of the EBRD with regards to human rights.
Georgian public opinion backs the village of Kaishi in the Georgian mountains that defiantly defends its land and tradition against the planned Khudoni dam. The project promoters have now embarked on an all-out promotion campaign including a fake non-governmental organisation.
The findings of a visit to the EBRD sponsored Patos Marinza oil field in Albania show how local development and investments in resource extraction often do not go hand in hand. The case provides valuable lessons for the revision of the EBRD’s safeguard policies.
In light of the recent violence in Ukraine, Bankwatch is asking the EBRD, the largest foreign investor in Ukraine, to refrain from any further cooperation both on new and current projects until the government takes decisive and peaceful steps to end the escalation of the current crisis, ends human rights violations committed by government forces, shows clear commitment to settling the political crisis in a peaceful way and addresses the key concerns of the protests.
Kiev – The European Investment Bank announced the suspension of all activities in Ukraine yesterday following the most violent day since protests in this country began. In its turn, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development declared it would “concentrate on the private sector”, hardly a meaningful stance considering the close links between government and the business sector in this country.