Ukrainian government to discuss economic roadmap

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers will meet today to begin a two-and-a-half-week long discussion of National Economic Strategy (NES) 2030, an

REUTERS Valentyn Ogirenko

Photo: REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers will meet today to begin a two-and-a-half-week long discussion of National Economic Strategy (NES) 2030, an audit of the country’s economy and roadmap for its next decade of development.

NES 2030, which is intended to reenergise Ukraine’s growth and make it more attractive to outside investment, posits that Ukraine has one trillion US dollars of unrealised economic potential. Its location as a buffer between Russia and Europe means that the Russian gas pipelines passing through it double as geopolitical weapons, with Russia occasionally turning them off to punish Kyiv at the expense of Moscow’s European customers. However, Russia’s development of the Baltic Nord Stream 2 pipeline presents an even greater threat, allowing Russian gas to bypass an uncompliant Ukraine, depriving it of roughly $2 billion in transit revenue, without affecting European customers.

Expect the Cabinet of Ministers to prioritise non-gas development of the energy sector, especially in existing nuclear and hydroelectric infrastructure, to decrease reliance on Russia.

While the EU will likely welcome efforts towards economic independence, Russia is strongest when its neighbours are weak and an economically stronger Ukraine threatens Moscow’s influence. Expect Russia to oppose such plans, likely through the Ukrainian oligarchs it backs.

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