Ukraine is at an economic policy crossroads and its choice will not only affect trade flows with its two neighbors, but it will also indicate the speed and direction of its structural reforms.
Despite a highly educated and skilled workforce and natural resources, Ukraine continues to struggle with sustained economic growth.
While the Yanukovych government has managed to initiate a number of economic reforms, they were implemented only partially and their success has been limited.
Ukraine’s European integration has slowed and relations with Russia show no signs of progress.
Now that Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party have returned to office for the next six years, it remains to be seen how much time he will have for Ukraine.
Ukraine can begin to expose its economy to more foreign competition and investment and truly live up to its potential only if it cracks down on corruption and encourages domestic competition.
Relations between the Kremlin and Kyiv are at a new low after serious gas shortages in Europe this winter. Ukraine needs to be doing more to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas.
At the recent EU-Ukraine summit, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych gained a tactical victory over the EU. By trying to convince him to change without holding him accountable to specific promises, the EU lost this round.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the creation of an independent Ukraine. Yet after two decades, there are still no easy answers to questions of Ukrainian identity.
In 1991, Ukrainians had high hopes for a democratic and prosperous future. However, two decades on, the direction their country will take is still far from clear.