There are lessons to be learned by a comparison of Poland and Ukraine who not long ago weren’t all that different. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine was only slightly lagging behind Poland in terms of average income. It was also much more richly endowed with natural resources. Yet a quarter century later, the gap between both countries has become enormous.
“The major Polish lesson is that economic prosperity was associated with deep reforms on legal and constitutional matters,” the study says. In contrast to Poland, the Ukrainian state was captured by oligarchic interests. “Arguably, as long as Ukraine is ruled by oligarchic interests, the chances of a successful major institutional and legal overhaul seem low.” According to the Viennese think tank, election results in Ukraine – including the most recent ones – suggest that comprehensive political change is yet to come.