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Currency: Hryvna
Major Export Products: Coal, electric power, metals, chemicals, machinery, grain
Major Import Products: Oil, gas, transportation equipment, machinery and parts, textiles, chemicals
Major Trading Partners: Russia, Belarus, Moldova, China, Turkmenistan, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany.
Ukraine (pronounced Ukrayina in Ukrainian) is a country in eastern Europe, the second largest in Europe after Russia. The size of the country is 233,090 square miles (or 603,700 square km). The population of Ukraine reaches 51,9 million people. Ukraine is bordered on the west by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary; on the southwest by Romania and Moldova; on the south by the Black Sea and Sea of Azov; on the east and northeast by Russia; and on the north by Belarus. The capital and largest city is Kyiv. Much of Ukraine is a fertile plain suited for agriculture. Ukraine is rich in natural resources ; a dominant part of the national economy belongs to agriculture.
Ukraine has mountains in the extreme west (the Carpathians) and in the southern end of Crimea (the Crimean Mountains). Mount Ho-verla in the Carpathians is the country's highest peak at 2061 m (6762 ft). The Dnipro, Ukraine's longest river, is Europe's third largest river. Ukraine abounds in plant and animal life and possesses rich and conveniently located natural resources. About half of its territory, especially the central and southern regions, consists of the exceptionally fertile black “chernozem”, a type of soil that is ideal for agriculture. Forests cover a considerable part of Ukraine's territory. Most of Ukraine has four distinct seasons and a moderate, continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The Crimean coast, however, has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.
Ethnic Ukrainians comprise the bulk of the population of Ukraine, with Russians being the largest minority group. Other numerically significant groups are Jews, Belarusians, Bulgarians, Poles, Hungarians, and Romanians. The official language of the country is Ukrainian. A majority of the population adheres to Eastern Orthodoxy. Other denominations include Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and Baptists.
In 1945 Ukraine became a member of the United Nations (UN). In December 1991 it was a founding member of the CIS, and in November 1995 it became a full member of the Council of Europe. It is also a member of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In 1992 Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank). It also became affiliated with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Ukraine is an associate member of the trade and economic.
The country gained its independence from the Soviet Union December 1, 1991. Leonid Kuchma is the current president of the country.
Ukraine is important to world energy markets as it is a critical transit center for exports of Russian oil and natural gas to Eastern and Western Europe, as well as a major energy producer (including nuclear power) and consumer in its Climate of the country is a continental one . It is Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast ; precipitation is distributed disproportionately , highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast ; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea coast to cold farther inland; summers are warm across the greater part of the country and hot in the south own right.