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You're reading: Tired of mayhem at home, Yanukovych flees to China
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“A large number of deals are planned to be
signed, which include investments for Ukraine,” Yanukovych said in a television
interview with journalists on Dec.2. “Even though the internal situation is not
good for the visits, the economy of the country will lose if I reject it,” he
said.    

Any outside help is crucial for cash-starved
Ukraine. The country is facing $10.8 billion in external debt repayments by the end of
2014, while its foreign reserves are at a risky $20 billion mark
already – less than
three months’ worth of imports, which is recommended by the International
Monetary Fund. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s gross domestic product isn’t expected to
show any growth in 2013. The World Bank forecasts it to be zero, while the European
Bank of Reconstruction and Development even expects a 0.5 percent decline.

Moreover, foreign investors are leaving Ukraine. Greek
Astra Bank and Swedish Swedbank have sold their subsidiaries in Ukraine this
year and more are expected to exit the country soon. Ukraine has shown
improvement in the most recent World Bank business ranking, jumping 28 spots, but
it remains at the bottom half of the ranking mostly due to bureaucracy and
wide-spread corruption. Ukraine remains one of the most corrupt nations. It
ranks 144th out of 177 countries in the latest Transparency International
Corruption Perceptions Index released on Dec. 3.

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