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Ukrainian businesses struggling in political headwinds

Reporter: Kate Parkinson 丨 CCTV.com

08-20-2014 11:20 BJT

In Ukraine, the long running political crisis has had a negative impact on the country’s economy overall. But the southeast region of Donbass, where Kiev troops are battling anti-government forces, has been particularly hard hit. 

People are getting used to the sounds of war. They barely flinch, but their faces show their concern. Life in the eastern city of Donetsk is becoming increasingly difficult many banks are not working, the few that are have long queues as people try to get money.

Business is suffering to and many small business owners have left. Nikolay Pilyaev, who runs a maintenance company, decided to stay, but he says it’s not easy.

"Doing business in Donetsk is not just difficult, but almost impossible because it is not only difficult to deliver some components, materials and so on through check points, and the war conditions of both sides, but even the electronic transfers at the banks do not go though, the bank wires are not being carried out." said Nikolay Pilyaev, Company Chairman.

Nikolay says his business is operating at a loss and he’s struggling to pay his employees wages. And this week he had to evacuate one of his offices as the fighting was getting too close for comfort.

With Ukraine’s currency - the hryvnia - plummeting and a deteriorating growth outlook there is concern that Ukraine’s next crisis will be a devastating economic one.

The International Monetary Fund has thrown Ukraine a financial lifeline stumping up $US17.1 billion as part of a two-year bailout package. Kiev has received $US3.2 billion so far and hopes to get an additional $US1.4 billion in late August. But the fund has warned that with prolonged fighting in the east, a bigger bailout may be needed. 

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