Ukraine is a rich agricultural, industrial and mining region in south-eastern Europe. It is an independent democratic state. Its population is about 52 mln people. The capital of Ukraine is Kiev. Ukraine has its own armed forces, and maintains its own diplomatic relations with foreign countries. Ukraine covers about 603.700 sq. km being larger than any country in Western Europe. From east to west Ukraine stretches for more than 1300 km and from north to south for almost 900 km. It borders with Belarus and Russia on the north and on the east. In the south it is bounded by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In the west Ukraine is bounded by Moldova, Rumania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. Ukraine is located in ideal geographical position for the development of its resources, lying between 440 and 520 latitude north, on the same latitude as the USA or Britain. The climate is mild and warm, with a long summer and a short winter. Together with its fertile black soil, this makes it ideal for the development of intensive agriculture. The main part of Ukraine is located in the watershed of the Dnieper-River, which divides Ukraine into two parts: Right-Bank and Left-Bank Ukraine. Ukraine's proximity to the Black Sea and the presence of large navigable rivers running through its territory has promoted the development of trade and culture. The Black Sea is not only a means of communication with Transcaucasia and Turkey but also with the rest of the world through the Mediterranean Sea. Ukraine also lies on the Danube, and this gives it access to European countries. Through the Siversky Donets it has access to the Don. The territory of Ukraine is criss-crossed by railroads and highways, oil and gas pipelines and high-voltage transmission lines - all of which ensure close economic ties with Eastern and Western Europe. Ukraine is a highly industrialised country, whose economic potential is great.