Ukraine’s American Finance Minister Asks John McCain for Weapons

by | Apr 21, 2015


When the US-installed government of Ukraine went shopping for a finance minister last year, it found an American woman who had not only spent a good deal of time in Ukraine but who knew how to milk the USAID gravy train. Her ability to burn through US taxpayer dollars while feathering her own nest was impressive. And why not pick an American, a US government employee, to manage the economy of a basket case country that had been adopted by the US?

Jaresko’s tenure in Ukraine goes way back. In the early 2000s she was selected to manage a USAID “enterprise fund” which was capitalized with $150 million in US taxpayer dollars. It was one of the usual crony faux-capitalist boondoggles that are supposed to demonstrate to emerging countries the benefits of a market economy but in fact just reinforce the idea that the well-connected can enrich themselves by stealing someone else’s money. In short, it was the US foreign policy elites subsidizing the elites of recipient country in exchange for obedience to US dictates and special deals for well-connected Americans.

Natalie Jaresko must have been something of a legend on that score. She soon burned through nearly the entire $150 million from USAID with little to show for it but a few million dollars in “fees” paid to a separate management company that she also controlled. Good score. She didn’t lose it all, though. By 2012 she still had almost $100 thousand of the original $150 million.

Fast-forward to the US-backed coup in Ukraine last year, with a government in place hand-picked by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and who better to manage the non-existent Ukrainian economy than an American like Jaresko? She knew the ropes at USAID — after all, she was a US government employee — and she could open doors in Washington. OK her track record was not great on managing money, but the beauty of a benefactor like the US was that the Fed printing presses could keep on giving.

Now, with Ukraine teetering on the edge of a default, Jaresko has been lurking around Ukraine’s European and American creditors seeking a write-off of much of Ukraine’s debt — to create a “new Ukraine.” After all, there is no earthly way Ukraine can keep spending billions to crush independence-seeking regions in the east while also paying back its creditors (the largest, surprise, being Russia).

But this wonder woman, burdened with the impossible task of saving Ukraine’s Yemen-level economy, nevertheless found time this month to drop in on her “true friend” John McCain to deliver an important message: who cares if our economy is in total free-fall, we need to make war on the “Russian-backed” eastern Ukraine and we need your help to do it:

Give us weapons so that we can finish this war! Who cares about Minsk II ceasefire! Who cares about a collapsed economy! Who cares about potential for nuclear conflict with Russia!

It makes one wonder if USAID was the only US agency that employed Jaresko…


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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