Slump in Odessa Container Business

Even a North German manager could not change that.
But he is trying hard.

War-torn Ukraine's economy contracts sharply

The economy in Ukraine has taken a nosedive in the first months of the
year, contracting more than analysts predicted. The news comes as Kyiv
negotiates a debt restructuring deal with creditors.
Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by a staggering 17.6
percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to one year ago, the
country's national statistics agency reported Friday.

Quarter-on-quarter, the economy contracted by 6.5 percent, the office
added, pointing to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine's industrial east
where the Ukrainian army is still fighting pro-Russian separatists.

Leading economic institutions, including the World Bank and European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD, predicted Ukraine would
log a 7.5-percent decrease in output for the full year.

Cash-strapped government

The noted in a statement that the freefall of the Ukrainian economy could
only be stopped if the fighting in the embattled east stopped and the
country's banking system was given a chance to recover.

In April, Ukraine's inflation rate surged to 60.9 percent. The national
currency, the hryvnia, has lost half of its value since the conflict
with separatists began.

Officials in Kyiv have meanwhile been trying hard to secure a
deal with creditors on the restructuring of a least part of its debt

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko had criticized the
nation's creditors for not assuming a more constructive role in

"I hope our creditors understand our problems, because we need to reach
an agreement on a second bailout tranche soon," she said. Ukraine had
received a first $5 billion (4.4 billion euros) under the rescue program
in March.