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You're reading: Ukraine’s economic prospects improving

Of late these analyses have increased rather than lessened. But there is sufficient evidence that such prognoses are not merely premature, they are largely unfounded. That is not to say that Ukraine is not facing economic problems, like many parts of Europe today, but it has seen worse times and survived them.

Ukraine’s biggest issue is energy supply, which is partly a legacy from Soviet times. It remains heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas. Prices negotiated for imports by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the Yushchenko era are again under review.

Concomitantly, Russia is putting some pressure on Ukraine to join the Customs Union, which currently comprises also Belarus and Kazakhstan. Ukraine, however, has stood its ground on both issues, demanding new negotiations on prices for oil and gas, while remaining firmly outside the Common Economic Space of its northern and eastern neighbors.

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