Comprising 14 percent of Ukraine’s total foreign
trade turnover, the bilateral trade figures signify the extent to which
Ukraine’s Soviet-era industries of metals, machinery and locomotives are still
tied to Russia’s. It also underscores the Ukrainian economy’s failure to
diversify by improving quality standards to tap other markets, in particular,
the European Union.
Since 2013, Ukraine’s trade
with Russia has been declining while on the rise with China, Germany and Poland
– the country’s three biggest trade partners after Russia.
Ukraine has drastically cut gas and oil
imports from Russia, switching towards European reverse flows and thus reducing
its energy dependency on its hostile neighbor. The German Advisory Group
reports that Ukraine imported $4.1 billion worth of gas from Russia last year –
68 percent of total gas imports – compared to $10.8 billion, or 91 percent, in