Ukraine. Ukraine was back in gas conflict with Russia in the midst of a cold winter, when Russian state Gazprom threatened to halt deliveries unless Ukraine paid its large debts. The crisis seemed to be resolved as Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko traveled to Moscow and settled with President Vladimir Putin. But when the Russian and Ukrainian gas companies were to negotiate the details, it reappeared, and Gazprom cut gas deliveries a short period before an agreement was concluded in March.
Putin took advantage of the gas crisis to warn West-friendly Yushchenko of realizing its goal of bringing Ukraine into NATO. If NATO bases were placed in Ukraine, Russia could be forced to point its robots at the neighboring country, Putin explained. Yushchenko said that Ukraine was ready to legislate on a ban on NATO bases to calm Russia. One sensitive issue was the bases of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukrainian Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Moscow saw its presence in Sevastopol threatened by a Ukrainian NATO membership, and President Yushchenko said that the contract might not be renewed in 2017.
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In early April, US President George W. Bush visited Kiev and expressed his support for Ukraine’s desire to join NATO. But at the next NATO summit in Romania, Bush did not join the alliance in an invitation to Ukraine and Georgia. However, it was promised membership but without a timetable. According to Moscow, too, it was a major strategic mistake that would have serious consequences for European security. Yushchenko explained that NATO membership was a priority for Ukraine, but the population was divided and studies showed that over half were negative to NATO.
The political rivalry between President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko increased in the spring, and in June Tymoshenko’s coalition lost its crazy majority in parliament.
The power struggle intensified when Tymoshenko merged with the Prorussian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych and voted through laws limiting the president’s power. The coalition collapsed. Political analysts believed that Russia probably contributed to the crisis. A weakened Ukraine was considered to favor Moscow, and political turmoil would make it more difficult for Ukraine to enter NATO. In addition, Russia was adopted to invest in the increasingly popular Tymoshenko as a partner rather than opposition leader Yanukovych who was about to lose opinion support in Ukraine. The worst support was President Yushchenko.
When Tymoshenko visited her Russian colleague Vladimir Putin in Moscow in October, she was met by a threatening tone, in which Putin outraged, referring to press information that Georgia should have used Ukrainian weapons and Ukrainian military experts in the war against Russia. Assessors considered that Putin’s accusations were not really directed against Tymoshenko but against Yushchenko.
In October, President Yushchenko announced a new election for December. However, the rapidly deteriorating economy forced him to postpone the elections somewhat in order for Parliament to consider a financial rescue package. Falling steel prices hit Ukraine’s major exports, and the global financial crisis hit the Ukrainian currency, the hryvnia, and the country’s banks. The government was forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and in November was granted a loan of $ 16.4 billion to stabilize the economy.
When NATO’s foreign ministers met in Brussels in early December, there was no formal invitation to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. It was repeated that the countries could eventually become NATO members but no date was specified.
In December, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko’s parties agreed to recreate the collapsed government coalition, and the new election did not end. A smaller party would also be part of the new coalition, which thus gained a majority in parliament. Tymoshenko continued as prime minister.
At the end of December, country grief was announced, after at least 27 people were killed in a gas explosion in the resort town of Jevpatoria on the Black Sea. The political rivals Yushchenko and Tymoshenko visited the accident site together.
Before the New Year, a new gas crisis threatened, when Russian Gazprom and Ukrainian Naftogaz ended up in conflict over the size of the Ukrainian debt, and when Gazprom for 2009 demanded a sharp increase at market prices.
Ukraine’s GDP fell by 12% during 2015 and the country’s currency was halved in value against the US $.
The United States had wanted to gain control of the entire country – a violation of Russia-US agreements in the early 1990s, when the peripheral states should remain alliance-free – but the superpower had instead created a de-facto division of the country and a fierce civil war that by the end of the year had cost several thousand lives. Most civilians. The morale of the Ukrainian soldiers was low and deserting frequently. To compensate for this, the Right Sector authorities allowed the “Azov Battalion” to be headquartered in Mariupol, and the United States sent military advisers and the terrorist organization Blackwater into eastern Ukraine. Basically, it was a classic deputy war with the US on the one hand and Russia on the other with Ukraine as a fighting ground.
In February 2016, Finance Minister Aivaras Abromavičius resigned in protest against the government’s unwillingness to fight corruption. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s popularity was already plunging, so President Poroshenko took the opportunity to fire him. In April, Volodymyr Groysman was inaugurated as new prime minister. On his accession, he promised – as expected – to seek closer ties with the EU and fight corruption.
The UN Subcommittee on Torture Prevention suspended its visit to Ukraine in May after the intelligence service barred its committee members from accessing the service’s centers in eastern Ukraine, with reports of torture and degrading treatment. The committee resumed and completed its investigations in September. It then drafted a report, which the Ukrainian authorities, however, banned, was published.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Ukraine in 2008 was 45,791,979, ranking number 28 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.470% yearly, and the population density was 79.0446 people per km2.