Ukraine is the largest country wholly situated in Europe with approximately 600,000 square kilometres and a population of about 45 million. However, it is still largely considered terra incognita for foreign investors. The country has experienced several political crises since it gained independence from the USSR in 1991. The most recent crisis was initially caused by the refusal of the then Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to sign the Association Agreement with the EU in November 2013. Since then the country has experienced considerable civil unrest, which caused the regime change in February 2014, led to foreign interference in the Crimea and gave rise to separatism movements in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. This social upheaval continues to produce substantial negative effects on the country's economy.
The new pro-European government and the newly elected Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, have announced significant reforms designed to fight corruption and introduce a favourable regulatory environment for economic growth. On 27 June 2014 President Poroshenko signed the Association Agreement with the EU, which is likely to be ratified by the end of 2014. Pursuant to the Association Agreement the government is introducing legislation to harmonise Ukrainian legislation with that of the EU. Implementation of the Association Agreement should create new opportunities both for Ukrainian business in Europe and for foreign investors in Ukraine.
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