Books on Ukraine
Update No: 358 -
The hinterland of
Ukraine is midway between Europe and
Russia, hence the hinterland of Eurasia.
Ukraine is a mighty country, the size of
France, with the same amount of people,
about 50million. It commands the marches
of Central Europe.
It is one of those countries where one
might surmise that the future of the human
race is to be decided. Who controls
Central Europe? Who controls Eurasia? Who
controls the world?
Actually no one state should control all
of these geopolitical entities. That would
Yet another EU member?
It is certainly a logical proposition to
consider the inclusion of Ukraine in that
assemblage of democratic states, called
the European Union. There is to be a
potentially most momentous event on
November 22, namely the first European
Union – Ukraine summit.
To begin with, the European Commission
reaffirmed in mid - October its commitment
to the negotiations of an Association
Agreement with Ukraine. "We are fully
committed to the negotiations on the
Association Agreement," Commissioner for
Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy,
Stefan Fle, declared on October 20 on the
occasion of the visit of Ukrainian Prime
Minister Mykola Azarov in Europe.
According to Fle, Ukraine is already
travelling in the direction of economic
integration with the European Union (EU)
and the country has enormous economic
potential. However, a number of obstacles
have led to a loss of confidence among the
business community, and a loss of
investment in Ukraine.
Fle pointed out a series of concerns,
including the taxation system,
agricultural exports, customs procedures,
lack of respect of court decisions, slow
progress in the fight against corruption,
and a lack of transparency in the area of
privatisation in Ukraine. The European
Commission therefore encourages Ukraine to
pursue dialogue with business partners and
authorities on difficult issues, but also
to make a step forward on economic
According to Fle, the EU-Ukraine
Association Agreement would play an
important role in Ukraine's path towards
the EU as the agreement will offer the
gradual opening of the bloc's internal
market and will assist Ukraine in
exploiting the European market and in
securing the investment needed to develop
sustainable growth. "For Ukraine the
impact of the agreement is likely to be
largely positive, involving real income
increases, gains in international trade,
productivity, and employment generation.
It will impact positively on consumers,
businesses, investors and workers," Fle
Actually the economy is already doing
Ukraine's economy was growing faster than
expected, the National Bank of the NBU
said on October 20. The bank said that the
success was due to significant improvement
in production in basic industries in
September. "The growth on an annualized
basis was 10.8 percent, for nine months
growth speeded up to 6.5 percent," a
The main factor for the acceleration was a
relative improvement in agricultural
production, whose decline slowed from -4.1
percent in the first eight months to -1.3
for the first nine months. The growth of
grain yields contributed to improving the
dynamics of crop production, whose decline
reduced to -4 percent from the previous
-10, according to statistics. The
situation in cattle breeding remained
stable with 3 percent growth recorded for
nine months, the data showed.
The NBU said a recovery in economic
activity in the Middle East and new demand
in Western Europe contributed to increased
metallurgical production. After a 1.1
percent fall in August, production went up
by 14 percent in September.
According to earlier reports,
January-September industrial production in
Ukraine rose by 10.8 percent compared to
the same period last year.
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych said
on October 19 with considerable
satisfaction "Ukraine's economy
demonstrates good results."
All of this augurs well for the vital
EU-Ukraine summit on November 22.