George Soros: "A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine"
Soros is calling on members of the European Union to behave as countries indirectly at war with Russia and to provide Ukraine with $50 billion to defend itself and kick-start political reforms. Russian President Vladimir Putin's imperial ambition has unintentionally brought into being a new Ukraine that is adamantly opposed to endemic corruption and inefficient government. By offering assistance, Europe can foster an open society in Ukraine and protect itself from Russian aggression.
George Soros sat down with Vice News to discuss why the EU must wake up and behave as countries indirectly at war with Russia.
Soros says that it is imperative that the EU wakes up and recognizes that the principles on which it was founded are at stake in Ukraine.
About George Soros
George Soros (Schwartz György) is a jewish Hungarian-born (August 12, 1930) American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Soros Fund Management. He is known as "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England" because of his short sale of US$10 billion worth of pounds, giving him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. Soros is a well-known supporter of progressive-liberal political causes. Between 1979 and 2011, Soros gave away over $8 billion to human rights, public health, and education causes. He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89) and provided one of Europe's largest higher education endowments to Central European University in Budapest. Soros is also the chairman of the Open Society Foundations.
George Soros's Role in Central and Eastern Europe
According to Waldemar A. Nielsen, an authority on American philanthropy, "Soros has undertaken ... nothing less than to open up the once-closed Communist societies of Eastern Europe to a free flow of ideas and scientific knowledge from the outside world".
From 1979, as an advocate of 'open societies', Soros financially supported dissidents including Poland's Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union.
In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary with a budget of $3 million.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Soros' funding has continued to play an important role in the former Soviet sphere.
His funding of pro-democratic programs in Georgia was considered by Russian and Western observers to be crucial to the success of the Rose Revolution, although Soros has said that his role has been "greatly exaggerated".
Alexander Lomaia, Secretary of the Georgian Security Council and former Minister of Education and Science, is a former Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation (Soros Foundation), overseeing a staff of 50 and a budget of $2,500,000.
Former Georgian Foreign Minister Salomé Zourabichvili wrote that institutions like the Soros Foundation were the cradle of democratisation and that all the NGOs which gravitated around the Soros Foundation undeniably carried the revolution. She opines that after the revolution the Soros Foundation and the NGOs were integrated into power.
Some Soros-backed pro-democracy initiatives have been banned in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Ercis Kurtulus, head of the Social Transparency Movement Association (TSHD) in Turkey, said in an interview that "Soros carried out his will in Ukraine and Georgia by using these NGOs ... Last year Russia passed a special law prohibiting NGOs from taking money from foreigners. I think this should be banned in Turkey as well."
In 1997, Soros closed his foundation in Belarus after it was fined $3 million by the government for "tax and currency violations". According to The New York Times, the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has been widely criticized in the West and in Russia for his efforts to control the Belarus Soros Foundation and other independent NGOs and to suppress civil and human rights. Soros called the fines part of a campaign to "destroy independent society".
In June 2009, Soros donated $100m to Central Europe and Eastern Europe to counter the impact of the economic crisis on the poor, voluntary groups and non-government organisations.