Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ukrainian Economy Increasingly Independent of Russia's

If you think that Ukraine's independence is a good thing, then this is going to be good news for you. I would actually go so far as to argue that Ukraine has already been torn away from Russia, at least as far as the economy is concerned.

The European Union is already Ukraine's largest trading partner and that number is increasing, so economically speaking Ukraine is already integrating into the EU.

Russia today accounts for 22% of Ukraine's exports and 25% of Ukraine's imports, which is half of the early post-Soviet figures, and those numbers continue to go down, regardless of regular declarations by Russian and Ukrainian politicians about being strategic partners, and inspite of the fact that the past increases in oil and gas prices significantly drove up the dollar figure of Ukrainian imports from Russia.

Belarus, for example, is much more tied into the Russian economic orbit. Russia accounts for 37% of Belarus exports and 60% of their exports.

Even Kazakhstan gets 37% of their imports from Russia.

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