The Republic of Ukraine, Capital Kiev

flag_of_ukraineUkraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km2(233,062 sq. mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe. Ukraine borders Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively.

It lies between latitudes 44° and 53° N, and longitudes 22° and 41° E.

Average annual temperatures range from 5.5–7 °C (41.9–44.6 °F) in the north, to 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 °F) in the south.Its capital and largest city is Kiev. It became independent in 1991. Ukraine is a unitary republic.

According to the constitution, the state language of Ukraine is Ukrainian.

Ukraine is included in the European Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.

Ukraine has long been a global breadbasket because of its extensive, fertile farmlands, and it remains one of the world’s largest grain exporters.Ukraine is one of the world’s most important mineral producing countries, in terms of both the range and size of its reserves.

The diversified economy of Ukraine includes a large heavy industry sector, particularly in aerospace and industrial equipment.Ukraine has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel and pipes. Among its economy leading companies in that field are Metinvest, Kryvorizhstal, AzovStal, Ilyich Steel & Iron Works, and others. As of 2012, Ukraine is the world’s tenth largest steel producer (according to World Steel Association).

Although typically known as the industrial base of the Soviet Union agriculture is a large part of Ukraine’s economy. In 2008 the sector accounted for 8.29% of the country’s GDP and by 2012 has grown to 10.43% of the GDP. Agriculture accounted for $13.98 billion value added to the economy of Ukraine in 2012, however despite being a top 10 world producer of several crops such as wheat and corn Ukraine still only ranks 24 out of 112 nations measured in terms of overall agricultural production. Ukraine is the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil, a major global producer of grain and sugar, and future global player on meat and dairy markets. It is also one of the largest producers of nuts.

Ukraine is the world’s 6th largest, 5th if not including the EU as a separate state, producer of corn in the world and the 3rd largest corn exporter in the world.

Ukraine is the 8th most popular tourism destination in Europe with 23 million visitors in 2012. The country’s tourism industry does provide crucial support for Ukraine’s economy. In 2012, the contribution of tourism to the GDP amounted to 28.8 billion ₴, or 2.2% of GDP and directly supported 351,500 jobs (1.7% of total employment).