The Voice of Russia: Ukraine's biggest donor over many years has been Russia
It is indeed high time for Ukraine to make some tough choices, hopefully the right ones. Since gaining independence Ukraine's leaders have been performing, with varying degrees of skill, a tightrope act, making simultaneous advances to Russia, the West, and NATO. Clearly, in terms of actual economic assistance, Ukraine's biggest donor over all this period has been Russia. The West has been very generous with words, but real aid - specifically, in terms of cheap energy, especially before the Orange turmoil – has come from the big Eastern brother.
Russia is also Ukraine's top international trade partner, with the volume of bilateral trade surpassing $50 billion in 2011. This compares with $6 billion of trade with neighboring Poland, $10 billion with China and $2.4 billion with the US. Then there is another important factor: hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Gastarbeiters in Russia sending billions of dollars to their families back home. It's a fact of life that most of these immigrants work in Russia illegally, depriving the Russian treasury of untold sums in unpaid taxes.
To support independent journalism in Ukraine and gain access to this Kyiv Post exclusive article, please subscribe.
A Kyiv Post digital subscription is only $1.15 per week - the price of a cup of coffee!
Why support us? There are five reasons to subscribe to Kyiv Post.Learn More
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.comments powered by Disqus