In search of new routes
The Ukrainian-Russian war not only came as a shock to the Ukrainian political elite and public – it also turned out to be a kind of a shock therapy for the Ukrainian economy. Very serious and deep changes have taken place in Ukraine’s trade co-operation with other countries since 2014. The Kremlin’s aggressive moves caused Ukraine to lose not only a major share of its market in Russia but also in the remaining post-Soviet countries and contributed to the collapse of the sale of products of the machine industry, the only Ukrainian export with a high added value. In turn, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement with the EU proved to be an effective tool helping the Ukrainian economy to overcome the crisis and compensate for the consequences of the collapse of trade with post-Soviet countries. This was possible even though the expectations of representatives of the Ukrainian government that the EU market would soon compensate for the lost post-Soviet markets turned out to be unrealistic, in particular in the case of industrial production. At present, Ukraine relies on exports of raw materials and low processed products to an even higher degree than before the crisis. The only difference is that metallurgical products have been replaced as the dominant exports by products of the food and agricultural sector.