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Still waters of Ukraine and Georgia2010-08-05 11:34
Ukraine and Georgia: in recent years, international circles have inevitably interrelated the two states' interests. They seem to have nothing in common; still, something must be throwing them together. The first and the main thing is suspicion toward Russia, which has grown into open fear on the part of Georgia. The second thing is the desire to get into European Union and become NATO members by all means.
Thanks God, Ukraine got rid of the NATO idea, having, though, reserved a wide niche for communication under Sea Breeze-2010 program. Current military exercises are the most large-scale event in the whole history of NATO's relations with Ukraine.
It is yet difficult to break a ten-year-old tradition. Unlike Georgia, Ukraine legally fixed a non-aligned status after Victor Yanukovitch signed the law on foreign and domestic policy basic principles. The political fact is obvious, though the government never devised any mechanisms to ensure the actual realization of the status.
So far it mainly concerns sponsoring the Army, which budget leaves Armed Forces no chance to develop but just maintains their combat power. Ukrainian Ministry of Defense declared an intention to reduce the army personnel by 15-20% by 2015 and get rid of unwanted weapons, military equipment and infrastructure facilities.
It is notable that the adopted law implies Ukraine's possible entry into regional security systems. The latest statements of a need for extended cooperation with Collective Security Treaty Organization headed by Russia speak for the possibility of Ukraine's entry in CSTO within the next five years, which became the breakpoint for Ukraine and Georgia.
However, in terms of economics, both countries are doing well. Georgia's export volume to Ukraine has grown by 23,9% since the beginning of the year, making up 6,4% of the country's total export volume.
In January-June 2010, the export volume from Georgia to Ukraine grew by 8,9 million and amounted to 46,1 million dollars compared to the same period of 2009. In this period, 6,1 thousand tons of ferroalloys were exported to Ukraine to the amount of 8,6 mln dollars, which is 4,2 mln dollars more than in January-June 2009. Besides, wine export grew by 2,6 mln dollars, making up 7,6 mln dollars (4,2 thousand tons). Strong alcoholic beverages export decreased by 262 thousand dollars, amounting to 13,9 million dollars (5,3 thousand tons).
At the same time, the increase of Ukraine's import to Georgia was stated in the same period. In January-June 2010, the import value from Ukraine to Georgia grew by 23% (45,1 mln dollars) compared to the same period of 2009, having amounted to 240,9 mln dollars - 10,8% of Georgia's total import volume. Sunflower oil import grew by 47,5% (4,7 mln dollars) and made up 14,6 million dollars (14,8 thousand tons) and with it, cigarettes import volume increased by 6,1 mln dollars, amounting to 27,7 million dollars. In January-June 2010, Ukraine was the third of Georgia's basic trade partners.
In this period, Georgia's foreign trade turnover with Ukraine was 287 mln dollars, which was 28,3% greater than in January-June 2009. Turnover with Ukraine in the mentioned period accounted for 9,7% of Georgia's total foreign trade turnover.
Still, Yanukovitch managed to outdo Saakashvili in terms of politics. Without Ukraine, Georgia will not even be let at NATO's door, while Georgia's trade cooperation with Europe remains a pure fantasy. However, Kiev might also soon go down to Tbilisi's level.