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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 49,537 41,380 37,600 55
GNI per capita
 US $ 970 770 720 137
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Ukraine

Update No: 352 - (27/04/10)

The revolution is over
There is no doubt that with a new pro-Russian president in Viktor Yanukovich, elected in February, Ukraine has a quite different dispensation than of yore. The Orange Revolution of 2004 is over.

The West did little, if anything, to encourage it, pro-Western in intent though it was. The economy was allowed to recede, while tycoons scooped off the surplus and put their ill-gotten gains abroad.

Ukraine was given no inducement to join NATO or the EU, or any other Western body for that matter. The inevitable has happened. Ukraine has returned to its Russian roots. Kiev was after all the original capital of Rus.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet to stay in Ukraine until 2042-47?
For starters, the Kremlin has scored a major diplomatic victory in April, striking a deal that will allow Russia's Black Sea Fleet to stay in Ukraine for another thirty years, more than a quarter of a century after it was supposed to leave in 2017.

Russia capitalised on its growing soft power and substantial energy reserves to clinch the deal, agreeing to give Ukraine multi-billion dollar discounts on the price it pays for Russian natural gas in return. The deal is controversial in the extreme and means that the Russian fleet will no longer have to abandon its famous base in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea in 2017 as originally planned. Instead, it can remain until 2042, with a possible option to stay on until 2047.

The move has probably buried Ukraine's chances of joining NATO for four decades, while Ukrainian opposition politicians claim the deal violated the country's constitution and vowed to mount a legal challenge.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, savoured the moment, revelling in a diplomatic victory that is certain to bolster Russia's geopolitical influence in the former Soviet Union in the face of what it sees as growing encroachment by NATO and the United States. "This was a step we have awaited for a long time," Mr Medvedev said, before trying to play down the cheap gas for military base link. The fleet and gas deals were "directly connected," he conceded but it was "a technical link."

President Yanukovich, his Ukranian counterpart, who is often accused of being a Kremlin stooge and only came to power in February, said he had done the right thing for Ukraine.

"We look at this in the context of a European collective security system," he said. "We understand that the Russian fleet will be a guarantee for countries on the Black Sea. Ukraine wants to find its place and get security guarantees."

The deal marks a dramatic reversal of Russia's fortunes in Ukraine. The previous Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko, was a fierce opponent of the Russian fleet's continued presence regarding it as a hostile force that was preventing his country from joining both the EU and Nato.
A new optimism; economy to improve?

Over half of Ukrainians think that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will be able to improve the economic situation in the country, according to a survey conducted by IFAK Ukraine international research agency. That is doubtless why they voted for him in the first place.

IFAK Ukraine Director General Serhiy Hovorukha presented the results of the survey at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on April 19. IFAK conducted the survey in the period, March 12-24, in the cities with a population of over 50,000 aged between 18 and 60. The survey's margin of error is 2.5%.

According to the survey, 51% of respondents generally agreed that Yanukovych as president would improve the economic situation in Ukraine, 26% neither agreed nor disagreed, 20% generally disagreed, and 3% failed to answer.

Some 48% of those surveyed said that Yanukovych would manage to stabilize the political situation in Ukraine. Some 73% think that Yanukovych will manage to improve relations between Ukraine and Russia, which, indeed, as we have seen, has already happened.

Some 45% of respondents expect their financial situation to improve in 2010, 42% said that it would remain unchanged, 8% said it would worsen, and 5% failed to answer.

Some 63% of respondents believe that Yanukovych should take, first and foremost, measures to tackle the crisis, 45% to step up the fight against corruption, 35% to improve relations with Russia, 27% to return illegally privatized enterprises to the state, 23% to strengthen the fight against crime, 18% to reduce taxes for small and medium-sized businesses, 13% to unite eastern and western regions in Ukraine, 7% to take real steps towards European integration (to obtain membership of the EU and NATO), 7% said that Yanukovych should dissolve parliament and hold early elections, 2% were undecided.

IFAK is an independent, full-service market research institute that was founded in Germany in 1958. The Ukrainian office of the agency has operated as an associate partner since January 2007.





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