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Ukraine

Yearbook 2009

Ukraine. On New Year's Day, Russian gas supplies to Ukraine were stripped after the country refused to join the Russian Federation's price increase for 2009. According to countryaah, the countries also disagreed on the terms of Ukraine's unpaid debts. The conflict led to energy crisis in several EU countries in Central Europe, which suffered from severe cold and whose gas supplies from the Russian Federation went through Ukraine. Moscow accused Ukraine of theft of transit gas and asked the EU to monitor deliveries through the country. The EU sought to mediate in the gas conflict, but when deliveries got underway, they were stopped again by Ukrainian Naftogaz who did not accept the terms of transit. The heads of government from three vulnerable countries, Slovakia, Moldova and Bulgaria, came to Ukraine to discuss the crisis. The conflict was resolved after a two-week energy crisis at a meeting in Moscow between Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Ukraine must agree to pay so-called European prices for the gas, however, with a 20 percent discount in 2009. Ukraine had previously paid about US $ 180 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas, while EU countries paid over US $ 400. Gas price increases became evident in Ukraine's deep economic crisis, where the country struggled to meet the terms of the IMF aid loans the autumn before.

2009 Ukraine

In January, the country's industrial production fell by a third and the already severe unemployment increased. GDP fell by 20 percent before the quarter and was expected to decline by 15 percent during the full year. President Viktor Yushchenko criticized the government of Tymoshenko for not taking the crisis seriously enough and to counteract budget cuts, prompting the IMF to postpone loan payments. Around 20,000 people protested against the government and the president in April demanding their resignation. Addressing the economic crisis, Tymoshenko was called "Mrs. Ruin".

The 2000 murder of regime-critical journalist Georgij Gongadze appeared to be clear when the former police chief Oleksij Pukatj was arrested in July. He acknowledged participation in the act, which was suspected of being ordered by former President Leonid Kuchma.

In October, the campaign began before the presidential election scheduled for January 2010. The election campaign coincided with an outbreak of swine flu, prompting Prime Minister Tymoshenko to order temporary closure of schools, while opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych demanded the resignation of the Minister of Health. They were both main rivals in the election campaign and were accused of trying to exploit the swine flu for political purposes.

When Parliament voted in October to raise minimum wages and pensions, the IMF protested, saying that the decision threatened to stabilize the economy that had begun. Prime Minister Tymoshenko was also opposed to the raises, accusing opposition leader Yanukovych of wanting to deteriorate the economy and thus be able to increase his own opinion support. In December, the government was forced to request extended credit from the IMF in order to be able to pay off the previous loans and at the same time meet the central government's current expenditure. Otherwise, the Treasury would have run out of money for salaries and pensions and for gas bills from the Russian Federation.

Before the end of the year, Ukraine managed to conclude an agreement with the Russian Federation on the continued transit of Russian gas and Russian oil through Ukraine to the EU. This meant, among other things, that the Russian Federation agreed on increased transit fees.

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