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Ukraine is a developing market economy with a population of 42 million (excluding Crimea) and GDP of $134bn in 2019. It is relatively rich in mineral resources (coal, iron ore, uranium) and enjoys significant agricultural potential.

The country has experienced several political and economic crises over the past fifteen years, as in 2013-2014 when a political shift towards the West was followed by a loss of control over the Crimean peninsula and military conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the Eastern territories. The economy has recovered from the deep recession observed in 2013-2015 but remained quite fragile, particularly since banking consolidation is still not fully achieved (non-performing loans were still at 48.4% of gross loans in December 2019).

Despite key weaknesses and a recession that was not avoided (-4.2% in 2020), Ukraine weathered the Covid-19 shock quite successfully since the country did not suffered from a sudden stop of capital flows. Agricultural exports acted as a buffer, since foreign demand was strong during the lockdowns. Moreover, the country has managed to ease its fiscal and monetary policies timely, a positive factor that was allowed by lowering public and external debt ratios during the years before the outbreak.

Nonetheless, the Ukrainian economy is exposed to an unstable political and geopolitical environment. The Zelenskiy administration, which enjoys a majority in the current parliament, has continued cooperation with the IMF, securing a new deal which was crucial for Ukraine to access financing from other multilateral and bilateral lenders as well as global markets.