A country in conflict, an economy in shambles. An estimated six million dollars per day is the bill to the Ukraine government.
Inflation touched 25 percent last year and is now already running at 28 percent. A fifth of industrial production has been lost.
The national currency the hryvnia plummeted to record levels on Monday days after the International Monetary Fund announced a four-year 17.5 billion dollar aid package.
“The Central Bank says the deficit last year reached five billion dollars. And the problem with the deficit remains a very serous one this year.
‘The question is to what extent the Ukrainian government will help businesses to adjust to EU demands and standards so the companies could prepare to enter the EU markets as soon as is possible,” said Boris Kushniruk, consultant economist.
The rate for the hryrvnia went to 26.2 against the dollar the first time it it has moved beyond 26. There were contrasting fortunes for the rouble which strengthened touching five week highs against both the dollar and euro.
Higher oil prices and hopes the fragile ceasefire would hold and ease tensions between Russia and the West provided support for the rouble, though one analyst said it was too early to talk about a determined firming of Russia’s national currency.
Much could depend on if and when economic sanctions are eased. “The ceasefire in Ukraine has to be tested on the ground,” said one economist.