One hundred billion dollars is a striking amount. It’s the size of economic effect on Ukraine caused by Russia as concluded by feted economist Anders Aslund. Presenting his findings at a press conference here in Kyiv at the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre on 7 June, Aslund was flanked by colleagues and other distinguished members of the Atlantic Council, including former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst and legal specialist Alan Riley.
The calculation Aslund used relied on basic economic data linked to the GDP of areas of Ukraine currently occupied by Russia, the Crimean peninsula, and parts of the Donbas not presently under government control. In addition to calculating the overall effect of GDP losses, calculations were also made of the value of property which has been seized or forfeited as a result of Russia’s decision to use unprovoked military force against its neighbor.
At present, there is only room for discussion about a return to peace. There will however come a time, most likely after Putin, when discussions about reparations will take place. At least we now have a starting point for that future conversation.