Global Outlook 2017: False hope in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko celebrates the unveiling of a new Ukrainian-made aircraft
Dec. 20, 2016: President Petro Poroshenko attends the unveiling of a new Ukrainian-made cargo aircraft in Kiev. Recent news about the economy has been positive (source: dpa)
  • The Ukrainian economy has been showing signs of recovery
  • Structural hurdles, including entrenched corruption, remain
  • Patience is wearing thin among the population and international organizations
  • The government can still muddle through, but dire results cannot be ruled out

February 20 marks the third anniversary of the Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine, which led to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the bloody insurrection in the country’s Donbas region. Although the political scene remains deeply problematic, the government in Kiev and its international supporters are projecting confidence that the country is finally turning the corner. The key question for 2017 and beyond is how much of this official optimism is grounded in real progress and how much is wishful thinking. Closer consideration shows that while the positive trends are there and the economy may have bottomed out, the underlying structural problems remain overwhelming.

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