The numbers just came in, and it turns out Ukraine’s biggest trading partner in 2017 was…Russia.
In 2017, Russian exports to Ukraine rose by 40% to a grand total of $7.2 billion, according to official statistics. The National Bank of Ukraine already noted that trade with Russia is greater than that with the EU.
Meanwhile, Ukraine exported $3.9 billion worth of goods to Russia in 2017, up from $3.5 billion in the previous year, making Russia Ukraine’s biggest trading partner.
Is that really a surprise, well, no; it’s actually the most logical scenario, but for all the talk in Ukraine about a “Russian invasion” you would think…at least if it were true…that a country wouldn’t trade with its invaders. So why do you think this is; is it because:
A. Russia and Ukraine are basically the same country/people, sharing common needs and demands
B. No one else really wants Ukraine for anything meaningful
C. Russia is by far the most logical, realistic, and ideal trading partner for Ukraine.
D. Russia didn’t invade Ukraine
Trick question! The correct answer was, all of the above!
The west has nothing profound to offer Ukraine. Sure, everyone likes Mercedes Benz, and no one is opposed to French Wines, or Swiss Chocolates, but these are all materialistic things. And there is really nothing in Ukraine the west actually wants.
Russia, on the other hand, can not only offer Ukraine crucial things like gas and energy, but for example foods that reminds everyone of Ba’s (grandma’s) kitchen. The West will never be able to break the bonds ingrained in the DNA of Ukrainians to look to Russia. That which is old remains true, and deep roots are not so easily changed.
The EU should not feel left out though. The EU is still first on the list of trading partners who completely rob the country of everything while giving nothing real in return.
Indeed, Ukraine has strict quotas with the EU, ensuring the EU can take what they want from Ukraine, as well as sell them whatever scraps they don’t want, but always ensuring the western European overlords in Brussels keep their boot on the neck of the East Slavs in Kiev. No one in Brussels actually sees Ukraine as an equal trading partner.
At best they see the country as ripe with natural resources to plunder, at worse, they see people to exploit in exchange for false promises; a country to prostitute out both literally and metaphorically.
Russia offers Ukraine a real future, and a realistic option, which is why regardless of the rhetoric, Russia will remain the betrothed for all eternity of Ukraine, while the others are just a pale imitation.