View of Kyiv

Ukraine Some progress in a tense setting

Since early 2014, Ukraine has been in a difficult phase of transition. Major factors that dominate the current situation are the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia in violation of international law and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but also efforts by the government to carry out reforms. Since February 2015, there has been a ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian militias in the eastern part of the country, but it has been fragile.

Progress has been made in the area of reform, but the need for reform remains high. The government in office between 2014 and 2019 under former President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Hrojsman pursued an overall course of European association and reform.

The 2019 presidential election was won by the challenger Volodymyr Selensky with 73.22 percent of the votes against the former incumbent Poroshenko (24.45 percent) in a run-off election on 21 April. Selensky was sworn in on 20 May 2019. Early parliamentary elections took place on 21 July 2019. The party of President Selensky, "Sluha narodu" (servant of the people), won the absolute majority of the mandates.

Development cooperation

Since 2002, Germany has been supporting Ukraine's efforts to establish a democratic system based on the rule of law and to introduce a market-based economic system. Ukrainian-German development cooperation focuses on democracy, civil society, public administration and decentralisation; energy efficiency; and sustainable economic development.

The Maidan in Kyiv at night

Continuing conflicts Internal link

In November 2013, then President Viktor Yanukovych surprisingly refused to sign the Association Agreement which had been negotiated with the European Union. This led to mass protests against the government.

Employees in a Ukrainian chocolate factory

Crisis prevents sustained upswing Internal link

Ukraine's economic development has been severely affected by the continuing national crisis. In 2015, gross domestic product fell by 9.8 per cent. After that, the economy recovered somewhat, beginning to grow in 2016 and growing by 3.3 per cent in 2018.

German development cooperation with Ukraine

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at a meeting with Ukraine's then Foreign Minister Vadym Prystajko at the BMZ in Berlin, December 2019.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at a meeting with Ukraine's then Foreign Minister Vadym Prystajko at the BMZ in Berlin, December 2019.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at a meeting with Ukraine's then Foreign Minister Vadym Prystajko at the BMZ in Berlin, December 2019.

Ukraine is one of Germany's development cooperation partner countries, meaning that there is a programme of close cooperation based on intergovernmental agreements. The German government has committed 82.6 million euros for 2019 for bilateral development cooperation with Ukraine. Since 2014, the BMZ has made available a total of about 545 million euros to Ukraine for new cooperation projects under official bilateral development cooperation.

The priority areas of cooperation are

  • Democracy, civil society, public administration and decentralisation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable economic development

In addition to cooperation in these priority areas, Germany also supports Ukraine through its special initiative "Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees". The BMZ has also considerably expanded its support for Ukraine's response to the crisis in the eastern part of the country. 10 million euros was committed in 2018 for a new special support programme for Eastern Ukraine (government-controlled areas). Among other things, the funding will support municipalities in improving health services and social services. Further activities include support for job creation and the provision of housing.

Building of the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) in Kyiv

Reforms for the rule of law Internal link

During the Maidan protests, key demands included calls for political, social and economic reforms. Even though there have been positive trends, the reform processes are not always moving forward smoothly.

Transformer station

Modernising supply systems, reducing dependence on imports Internal link

The Ukrainian economy is dependent on energy imports. For example, about one third of the demand for natural gas must be met from foreign sources. For coal, the share of imports is 82 per cent. The economy thus suffers under price volatility and supply constraints.

Market in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv

Improving the enabling environment, fostering growth Internal link

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can become a driver of growth for the Ukrainian economy, and reduce unemployment and poverty. However, the general environment is unfavourable to private sector engagement.