From the beginning of its independence, Ukraine has been impacted by Moscow. Russia was the major trade partner and natural gas supplier to Ukraine. This is what prevented the Ukrainian government from actively pursuing EU membership.
At the end of 2013, the Ukrainians clearly expressed their desire to become an EU member state – they organized Euromaidan and overthrew the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, who refused to sign an association agreement with the EU.
On February 28th, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, signed an official application for Ukraine’s EU membership. On March 1st, the European Parliament voted to make Ukraine a candidate for EU membership status. This is a crucial moment. Russia has been blocking Ukraine’s EU integration for the last 30 years, and is now at risk of losing any kind of influence.
Kyiv, 25.11.2013. Photo: AFP
After Russia’s attack, Ukraine became a strong shield, protecting the security of Europe as a whole. Now our country is gaining invaluable experience. After our victory, we will be able to share it and help optimize the EU’s collective security.
Now, because of this war, EU countries are reconsidering their approaches to security and optimizing their budgets. The war in Ukraine is uniting the EU, potentially making it a more powerful player on the world stage.
The economic factor
The European Union is Ukraine’s largest economic partner in the field of renewable energy. Neither Russian aggression nor war can affect this. In 2021 alone, Ukraine’s exports to the EU in the fields of metallurgy, agricultural production, and mechanical engineering have increased by 150%.
Ukraine’s exports are not limited to goods alone. Last year, exports in the IT industry exceeded $ 5 billion. Ukraine also ranks first among Eastern European countries in terms of attractiveness for IT outsourcing and hiring IT specialists.
In 2019, Ukraine’s exports to the EU amounted to 19.1 billion euros. Therefore, Ukraine has great potential for economic and trade relations with the EU. 30% of the world’s chornozem, one of the most fertile soils in Europe, is located on Ukrainian territory.
Energy and resources
Despite all Russia’s attempts to supply gas to the EU through Nord Stream only, Ukraine remains the most important transit country for Russian gas entering the EU. Ukraine is one of the largest producers of electricity in Europe. The country’s electricity systems are partially integrated with the European Network of Transmission System Operators. Ukraine supplies electricity to four EU member states: Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia.
Furthermore, the countries of the European Union need natural and shale gas, lithium, and titanium ores, which our country has plenty of. Ukraine, for its part, is interested in becoming a partner in the extraction and processing of raw materials, and the further development of the added value chains.
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