Ukraine, a fledgling democracy, is indeed chaotic, but not terminally so. Instead, the current political situation in Ukraine is what might be expected of a parliamentary system with young political parties prone to coalition building and fracturing. Mass gatherings and rallies have become commonplace since the country's 2004 “Orange revolution” and, unlike in neighbouring Russia, they are often anti-government. As politicians struggle to acquire their democratic sea legs, they are being held accountable by the country's burgeoning civil society and politically active citizenry.
Until the global financial crisis began to affect the country adversely, Ukraine had, in recent years, been one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, with annual gross domestic product growth rates of 6 to 8 per cent.
Over the past four years, Ukraine has made tremendous strides on both the economic and political fronts. Now, with falling global demand for steel, the country’s biggest export, combined with a 40 per cent devaluation of the Ukrainian hryvnia against the dollar and a near freeze on foreign investment and capital inflows, Ukraine's economy is indeed in tatters.
Western Europe's exposure to and investment in Ukraine have grown to levels too high to ignore. Through its political development and economic transition of the past four years, Ukraine has proved itself more than worthy of support from the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral agencies.
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